When I was a little girl, I was afraid of a lot—being alone, strangers, the dark, and, if family pictures are to be believed, Santa Claus and snowmen. Above all, though, I hated thunderstorms. If one was forecast, I would go to bed early so I could sleep through it. If I didn’t, the first sound of thunder or flash of lightning signaled a sleepless night of fear for me.
Far from Saint Paul’s desire for the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 7:32-35) in today’s reading, my heart was not free from anxieties, whether the storm was in nature or, as time went on, in my heart. I remained chronically afraid of thunderstorms, and a growing number of other, less tangible things in life, until the summer before I started college.
While attending a youth retreat, there was a Eucharistic Procession. We were under a giant tent in the middle of an empty field. As the Blessed Sacrament processed around the tent, a severe thunderstorm raged around us. Rain pelted the roof of the tent, thunder drowned out the sound of our praise and worship, and the lightning brightened the night sky.
But my heart . . . .
My heart was at peace, and I had eyes only for the Lord.
That night, I recognized the authority of Jesus and embraced the power of that authority to drive out the fears, anxieties, and worries that plague us. My vulnerability in the face of that raging storm was completely overshadowed by the presence of the One Whom even the seas and winds obey.
What are you anxious about today, sister? Whether big or small, inside of you or outside, He invites you to offer it to His authority. Fear is never from the Lord, we must surrender it to His mercy if we wish to find freedom.
Today, let us offer to Jesus the demons of our fear that He might destroy them and, “If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart” (Responsorial Psalm).