The Good Fear: (((HOMILY))) 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Father Brian J. Soliven on Sunday June 21, 2020
The year 2020 should be dubbed the "Year of Fear." This makes the words of Jesus in this Sunday's Gospel reading all the more powerful: "FEAR NO ONE... do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna." (Emphasis added) Who is this person of which he speaks? The Roman Emperor? The Devil? No. Jesus is actually speaking of God himself; the creator of our soul is the only one that can destroy it. In the Book of Proverbs and Psalms, the God taught his Jewish people that "The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord." We need to have a healthy fear of God, but not one rooted in punishment like a child has towards his parents, but rather a fear rooted in love. The latter fear seeks to avoid hurting or disobeying the other because we cherish them. The last thing in the world we want to do is to cause pain to those we love the most.