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The faith factor

The story is told about a little boy who asked his father: “Dad, what is a weapon?” The father answered: “A weapon is something you fight with.” The boy thought for a while, and said: “So… Mom is your weapon!”

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In today’s gospel (Lk. 24, 35-48), the Risen Lord teaches His disciples to fight their fear, their enemy, with faith as their weapon. It is our faith in God that will help us fight and overcome our fears.

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“Peace be with you.” This is the calming and assuring message the Lord gives all of us as we fight the COVID-19 virus, and the fear of the virus itself. Remember: Jesus is mightier than the virus.

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The Lord asks each one of us today: “Why are you troubled?” Let us tell Him why. Let us count the ways. But let us also listen to Him today. Let us not listen to endless worldly chatter that further reinforces our doubts and fears. Let us listen to Him, and let Him open our minds to understand what is happening in our world today. “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3,5).

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The fear factor is real. So is the faith factor that will help us fight and overcome our fears. It is not enough to strengthen our immunity. We should also strengthen our faith and spirituality. Pray. Pray. Pray.

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“Do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness” (Desiderata). The problem with us is we end up overthinking, overanalyzing, overprojecting, overacting, and overreacting. “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46,10). Pray. Listen. Hope. Don’t worry. God is with us. He will not abandon us.

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“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of sound mind” (2 Tim 1,7).

Keep this in your heart and in your mind as we go through this valley of tears and fears.

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God is a God of surprises! The Risen Lord surprised the fearful disciples so many times, and in so many ways. God, please surprise us again! Oh yes, He can raise up in our midst a “new David” to fight our Goliath. As it were, God’s solution cannot be confined to the mighty and expensive vaccines, available only to the mighty, and the moneyed. There is a “big picture.” There is a big God, with a big heart, and He, if He wants, can surprise us!

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Our fear tells us that the situation is not improving, and that things will get worse, but our faith should tell us that there is hope, and that breakthrough is coming, in ways and means unexpected and unseen. Let us continue to believe, and keep on believing.

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I don’t know how it will happen, but God will do something to help us. Yes, He is already doing something for us, through us, and with us. He is a God who fights for us, remember?

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“Do not be afraid. It is I.” May we continue to see the Lord amid all the difficulties we are going through. May we recognize Him in the darkness, in the sadness, in the pain and deprivations, in our fears, in our goodbyes, and even in death.

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Speaking of death, it can come at a time or place we least expect it. It almost came to me while I was eating dinner alone in my room last April 14. I could not breathe because I was choking. It was a fearful experience. But it was for me an experience of faith. Because of faith, I did not panic. I was relaxed, and, I survived. Yes. Faith is a factor. Faith matters.

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help us to live our lives more with faith factor, and less on fear factor. Amen.

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TAGS: Gospel, Jerry M. Orbos, Moments
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