Read Zechariah 2:5-9,14-15, Jer. 31, Luke 9:43-45)_

“He who scattered Israel will gather him and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.” (Jeremiah 31:10).

As this week ends, the words of the Prophet Zechariah are worth repeating. They are words of hope and encouragement spoken in times of fear and despair. Zechariah says: “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come and I will dwell in the midst of you, says the LORD. And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord that day, and shall be my people, and I will dwell in the midst of you.”

And to add to this, our Psalmist says: “The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.” Amid life’s challenges, it is easy for us to be overcome by fear. The man of faith has fears, but they do not control him. He remains calm and consistent, knowing he is under the shepherd’s hands. Like Jesus, he can afford to sleep soundly in a boat while the disciples panic.

The man of faith will continue doing what is right regardless of threats from different sides. Like Daniel, he would not just pray but even open his windows to pray despite hearing the decree from the king stating that no one should pray in the land. (Daniel 6:6-10). Was Daniel scared? Sure, since he was human. Did his fear control him? No. He acted based on faith.

In our Gospel passage, Jesus speaks to His disciples of His imminent death, followed by betrayal, agony, rejection and shame. Jesus’ disciples could not understand because they were taken over by fear. It was only after the resurrection that they understood what Jesus was saying.

You feel paralysed with fear now because you find it hard to imagine a better tomorrow; you still cannot see any light at the end of your tunnel but know this: if Jesus rose from the dead, your trials will end one day.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, Lord Jesus, my shepherd, teach me to remain strong despite my fears. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saint Jerome, Priest, Doctor. Bible Study: Zechariah 2:5-9,14-15, Jer.31m Luke 9:43-45).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu