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  My Witness

Vol. 13, No. 1, January, 2008

The Lord Loves you! Do not be Afraid!
by Sr. Brigid Meierotto, S.N.C.

Sister Brigid In this teaching, we will accept the word of God, the Scriptures into our hearts and minds, letting them be light to us. The Scriptures are the inspired word of God which has the power to accomplish what it says, for us. Yes, for us, right here. Right now!

The Scripture we are reflecting upon is Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15; 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12; Luke 13:1-9. Read these passages slowly, prayerfully.

As you read the Scripture, in your heart ask the Holy Spirit to explain to you the message that the Lord has for you personally. Do not doubt that the Lord Jesus will do this for you, because that is why he came, so that you can get to know and to love Jesus. "These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you" (John 14:25f). Tell the Holy Spirit what you expect from him...something like this: "O Holy Spirit, Jesus said that you would teach me all things and I believe him. Teach me how much Jesus loves me -- open my heart to understand how much Jesus loves me, how much he loves my family. Teach me that I do not have to be afraid! Thank you, O Holy Spirit."

In Exodus we see that Moses is working, he is out taking charge of the sheep. Suddenly he notices that there is a bush burning, but, it is not burning up. So Moses says to himself, "I've got to check this out!:" The Lord has set Moses up -- he has gotten his attention. Now the Lord calls his name, "Moses, Moses! I am the God of your father -- take off your shoes, this is holy ground."

Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God. He knew his sinfulness -- how could he look upon the Lord and live?! How? Because of the Lord's love for him and for all of his people. The Lord doesn't have sin on his mind -- the Lord has mercy on his mind. The Lord says to Moses:

"I have seen the affliction of my people,"

"I have heard their cry,"

"I know their sufferings,"

"I have come down to deliver them!"

"And you, Moses, will bring them out from Egypt!"

Did it happen? Yes! The Lord did it! He delivered his people, set them free from slavery in Egypt. This is what St. Paul is talking about in his first letter to the Corinthians. Moses leads the people out under the cloud of the Lord's presence and he brings them through the Red Sea with dry feet!

But then Paul goes on to say that the people forgot the Lord who freed them! They de- sired evil rather than good; they grumbled rather than being grateful. And the Lord was not pleased with most of them.

But the Lord does not have sin on his mind, the Lord has mercy on his mind! The Father sends a new Moses, his own beloved Son, Jesus, the Christ, the true Rock. From Jesus flows living water, his Holy Spirit.

Now in the Gospel of Luke, some people are telling Jesus these tragic stories about people who have suffered and been killed. Jesus asks, "Do you think this happened to these people because they were greater sinners than anyone else?"

Jesus answers his own question, no, they were no worse than any other sinners. Then Jesus goes on to say, "But, unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." Jesus is telling us: unless you turn back to the Lord, who is the source of your life, and turn away from the evil you desire and your grumbling which leads to death, you will die.

Then Jesus tells this marvelous parable about the fig tree that reminds us of what he says at the Last Supper in the Gospel of John, "My Father is the vinedresser." The owner of the fig tree says to the vinedresser, "No fruit for three years? Cut it down!" But the vinedresser says, "Give it another year -- I'll work with it."

Jesus shows us the Father's love, his mercy, his patience with us. Jesus is here to save us -- to free us from our sin, our diseases, from whatever takes away our life. We do not have to hide our face; we have only to ask.

Closing prayer: Gracious Spirit, thank you for teaching me how much the Father loves me! How much Jesus loves me! I do not have to be afraid. Continue to open my heart to understand more and more the love of the Lord for me and my family! Thank you, Spirit of love! Now the prayer to Mary: "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus! Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen!"

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