When you think of God, are you “terrified and trembling” like Israel in today’s First Reading?
Maybe you have kept God at arm’s length because you have been told you are unclean or unworthy.
Maybe your religious education painted images in your mind of a vengeful God, eager to destroy.
Maybe you were vulnerable in Confession and were met with callousness.
Maybe religion was used as a weapon against you.
Maybe a trauma has distorted your understanding of God’s goodness.
Maybe it’s been so long since you’ve come to Him that your soul is steeped in sin and despair and you don’t even know where to begin.
Scripture calls us to a fear of the Lord, but this fear ultimately speaks to awe, obedience, and adoration, not shame, defeat, or terror. Before the Fall, Adam and Eve feared the Lord in the former way and enjoyed a most-intimate relationship with Him.
Once they sinned, they hid from Him in a painful kind of fear—one that kept them isolated and afraid.
But God proves to us that He does not want to keep us at arm’s length. In fact, all of Salvation History is filled with accounts of how God sought to come closer to man. This culminated in the Person of Jesus Christ. One of the reasons God took on the limits of our flesh was to show us His limitless love (Catechism of the Catholic Church § 458).
Examining the life of Jesus shows us that we need not be afraid of Him. He doesn’t rage against the vulnerable; He speaks with them. He doesn’t shun those who are sick; He heals them. He doesn’t forsake those who are desperate, He saves them.
Don’t let fear keep you from freedom in God. Come closer to Him today. Just one step. Come into His temple, it’s filled with mercy; ascend His mountain, it is covered with joy (see Responsorial Psalm). If you’ve been afraid of Him, read the Gospels and witness the desire of Jesus to be close to you, to save you, to fill you. He won’t give up on you.Ascend His mountain, it is covered with joy. // @to_the_heights Click To Tweet