Read Isaiah 41:13-20, Ps. 145:1,9-13a, Matthew 11:11-15

“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’” (Isaiah 41:13)

In today’s first reading, we hear God saying to us: “Fear not, I will help you.” Fear is natural to us; it is like an alarm signal to the human body, warning it ahead of the possibility of danger. We cannot eliminate fear, but we can turn our fears into prayer signals. Are you scared? Run to the arms of God. Visualise a positive outcome and believe it. In this way, your fears will not prevent you from doing what is right.

John the Baptist must have been scared of Herod, yet this did not prevent him from preaching the truth to Herod. He knew that Herod would not be happy hearing him talking about his illegal marriage, but He resigned his fate to God, believing that there was a better life ahead. In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus described John the Baptist as the greatest human born of a woman. Everybody has fears, but those who rise above them are great.

Christmas reminds us that amid everything that frightens us, God is still with us. This is the meaning of the name “Emmanuel.” God knows how difficult it is to live a good life or to speak truth to others. Hence, He came to be with us. When your life is threatened, read today’s first reading and try to feel God holding your right hand and leading you on.

Today, we remember St. John of the Cross, whose life resembles John the Baptist. St. John the Cross suffered persecution when he sought to reform the Carmelite Order. He was imprisoned in Toledo, Spain, but escaped after nine months. He was a great contemplative and spiritual writer. He died on the 14th of December 1591 of natural causes. Pope Pius XI proclaimed him a Doctor of the Church on the 24th of August 1926.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, deepen my trust in you. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saint John of the Cross, Priest, Doctor. Bible Study: Isaiah 41:13-20, Ps. 145:1,9-13a, Matthew 11:11-15).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu