The age in which we live presents to us in movies and in books role models to follow who are fearless heroes. At the same time, we see that many people are continually afraid that something could happened to them, or their family or to their belongings, and are continually worried. We see the two extremes, fear nothing, and fear everything. The gospel helps us to understand this situation.
The Christian vision of how we confront the challenges of the World is different than that fearless notion. We are afraid but we overcome fear, through our faith that gives us distinctive ways to see the things that make us afraid.
As always, the Gospel does not only illuminate our faith but it also helps us to understand the reality of everyday life. Our time has been called “the age of anxiety” (W.H. Auden). Anxiety, which is closely related to being afraid, has become the sickness of the century and it is the reason for depression in many people because of the lack of understanding of how we need to confront our fears.
Fear by definition is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. (this could be real or imaginary). Today’s gospel put all our fear in the perspective of Eternal life.
The Gospel helps to free us from these worries and reveals the importance of what we must fear, and what we must not. There is something in us that nothing and no one in the world can truly take away from us or damage: For believers, it is the immortal soul. In the end that is the only important thing because it is forever.
The other thing mentioned in the gospel is physical death that is something that sooner or later will happen. That doesn’t mean we don’t care about it, but that we understand the temporal nature of this life. And, that while we are in the world we are pilgrims to our home in heaven. The time and the life we have here and now is conditioned (or should be conditioned) to the other life, and the former is given to us to work toward the last one.
When we were children, we feared some things because of our lack of knowledge of the world. When we grow up, we don’t fear these things anymore because we understand the nature of things around us. Every Christian might also pass through these steps until they understand the nature of our own existence and the priority of thing in life and life itself.
To answer the question: Are Christians fearless? The answer is no? We conquer fear with our faith that helps us to see the real value of the things of the World and of the world to come. Finally one of the greatest gifts that our faith gives us is the assurance that in those moments we are afraid, we don’t face the situation alone because God is with us. And if He is with us, as e Psalm 23 says: Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.