"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." - Isaiah 41:10
Prayer: Lord, my God, help me to be attentive to the movements of my own heart, that no matter what I experience and go through my heart may always be set on You. Whether sorrow or joy may may heart praise You. May nothing separate me from You. Amen.
There are many occasions were misplaced fear leads people astray in the Bible, Abraham and Sara on a number of occasions, Pharoah in Egypt during the time of Moses, King Saul, just to name a few that come quickly to mind.
Today in our Gospel we again see an example of misplaced fear. When seeing and hearing Jesus many came to believe, but we hear of a small faction of people, who rather than responding in faith, trust in their own malformed intuitions and they go to the Pharisees. These Pharisees rather than trying to seek truth and understanding receive these reports to mean what they fear. A fear which is probably the very cause of the malformed intuitions of those who gave them the reports. Perhaps on hearing these reports the response of the Pharisees was, 'Yes, this is exactly what we feared would happen.'
This should serve as a lesson for us, how do our spoken fears misshape or malform the people who learn from us? How do we become people of truth, people who seek understanding and let God be the one to reveal what is happening rather than jumping to conclusions? Do we trust that all is in God's care and that if He wants me to act, He will tell me, and on some occasions, He may already have told me to act?
From our gospel we see the fruits of suspicion and fear that is sown into the very followers of the Pharisees, the followers make their report and fear sinks deeper. They convene the Sanhedrin and the high priest Caiaphas utters a prophesy that he does not actually know what it means. Caiaphas thinks it means one thing, while God knows it another. God knows of Jesus, "that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish." John clarifies this for us.
I think the lesson for us to contemplate is what do we do with the fears we face? How do we let them move us to a deeper trust in God? What is the information that we should seek to help us better understand how God is working?
May God richly bless you!