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“Fear Not!”, by Leo Aliaga, Fiat Ventures

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

If you were asked to count all the blessings you have received from God in your life, you could probably fill up an entire notebook with your responses. You’d realize that you’re thankful for food, water, Netflix, indoor plumbing; the list goes on and on! You’d probably list that you’re thankful to God for your very life itself.  And remember – God didn’t need to create us, but wanted to create us. He created us out of love, and he is love!

But what about those times when we find ourselves in a tough place? Maybe it even feels like God has abandoned us. We can forget about God’s presence in our lives when we encounter suffering. It’s helpful to remember that we’re not the first to have that thought.

In Old Testament times, that was a very common way of thinking. People who were blind or deaf were thought to have been made that way out of punishment for sins; that God had abandoned them and wanted nothing to do with them. Then the prophet Isaiah comes along and starts preaching a message of hope to the people:

Thus says the LORD: Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water.        Isaiah 35:4-7A

God knew what his people were thinking and feeling and he gave them a message of hope through Isaiah, that even in the midst of their suffering, he was with them.

Fast forward to Jesus coming on the scene, and he makes that prophecy of Isaiah come to life as he starts actually doing these things; even healing the blind! Can you imagine? Those who saw these things must have felt that God was so close to them in their time of need, and had the faith that he could do something about it.

No matter what your struggle is in life, never forget that God is with you. Jesus is God literally in-the-flesh. If things are not well at home, God is with you. If you are being bullied at school, God is with you. If your grades are never what you or your parents expect, God is with you. If you don’t make the varsity team or the club team at school, God is with you. If you are relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend does not work out, God is with you. If people are gossiping about you, God is with you. No matter what it is, God is with you, you are loved, and we can have the hope that he will do incredible things and make good come out of these situations.  Despite the darkness, even at night the stars and moon are there. There is always light present.

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