27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14;Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4; Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9; Luke 17:5-10
Stir into flame the gift of God. (2 Timothy 1:6)
Did you know that fear is a gift from God? It helps us protect ourselves and our loved ones when danger arises. The problem is that our inner gift of fear can become too powerful and cause us to exaggerate the external threats that have given rise to fear in the first place. How many times has a fearful situation caused your mind to race uncontrollably? When we exaggerate the actual cause of fear in our minds, we risk losing our peace, compromising our sense of judgment, and, in some extreme cases, even becoming sick.
In today’s first reading, we see St. Paul urging Timothy to overcome his fears as he leads the Church at Ephesus. Can this be true? Is this the same Timothy whom Paul sent to build the church at Ephesus in the first place (1 Timothy 1:3)? Is this the Timothy whom Paul sent to Thessalonica to strengthen the Church during a time of persecution? (1 Thessalonians 1:3)? Didn’t Paul say that no one was comparable to Timothy (Philippians 2:20)? Whatever challenge Timothy was facing, it must have been significant.
Most of us become fearful when a significant hardship comes our way. That is a blessing. But we cannot allow these fears to control us. Instead, let’s remind ourselves that God is with us, and he is for us. Let’s believe that nothing stands against us (Romans 8:31). And let’s never forget that we can do all things in Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13).
When we place our faith in Scripture passages like these, grace and power are stirred up in us. So pray the prayer below each day to overcome your timidity. Then, when you face some fearful situation, try to keep it in the right perspective. Don’t let fear be your master!
“Lord, help me overcome my timidity. In your name, I command any spirit of fear to go to the foot of the cross where you died, so that I will not be controlled by it. Jesus, fill me with your spirit of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7).”~WAU