who's who in the fear of the lord?
"Struck with great fear of the Lord, the men offered sacrifice and made vows to Him." —Jonah 1:16
Who's who in today's eucharistic readings? If you didn't know anything about today's cast of characters, you would likely conclude that:
- the pagans were devout followers of God because of their immediate, reverential, and loving obedience to God (Lk 10:33ff; Jon 1:14-16), and
- the religious folks (Lk 10:31-32; Jon 1:3, 10) who are "without love" know "nothing of God" (1 Jn 4:8).
Today's readings are meant to shake us up and wake us up. Pagan sailors, heretics like the Good Samaritan, and prostitutes (Mt 21:31) might be leading the way in the fear of the Lord. "The man of any nation who fears God and acts uprightly is acceptable to Him" (Acts 10:35). We who call ourselves disciples might be falling behind in the fear of the Lord. Are we more committed to our own will than to God's? Are we moving "away from the Lord"? (Jon 1:3) Do we "make the most of the present opportunity" (Eph 5:16) to serve the Lord? Or do we bypass repeated chances to do His will? (Jon 1:3, 10; Lk 10:31-32)
Fear of the Lord is a gift of the Holy Spirit (Is 11:2-3). Repent of any spiritual paralysis or complacency. Ask God for more of the Holy Spirit (Lk 11:13) and more fear of the Lord. Then obey the Lord immediately, for the Spirit is given to those that obey God (Acts 5:32).
Prayer: Father, may I see myself as You see me.
Promise: "Out of my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me." —Jon 2:3
Praise: John repented of past missed opportunities and now seizes each moment to be a witness to God's love.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 21, 2005
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