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Fr Peter’s Front Page Reflection Jun 25, 2021

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

We wish all our teachers and students a happy and safe mid semester holiday and at the start of these two weeks holidays we welcome all our visitors to the Coast –
We hope you and your family enjoy your time with us.

 

For most Queenslanders, we are approaching the end of this weekend with a sense of fear. Fear is an unpleasant and often strong emotion caused by the anticipation of danger. The second State of Origin match kicks off at Lang Park at 7:50pm and there is a certain sense of fear that we will get another flogging like we did at Townsville!

Fear is useless! Following on from last Sunday’s story of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee, we hear another of the miracle stories from Mark’s Gospel. This week it is Jarius, a synagogue official, who is afraid. His source of fear is his desperately ill daughter.

Our imagination quickly sums up the motivation of Jarius, a parent who will do anything to save his daughter. Even though Jarius is a person of considerable standing in the Jewish community, for the sake of his daughter, he puts aside his pride and his instinctive distrust of this itinerant preacher and stands before Jesus and begs.  There is no limit to what a parent will do for their child!

As the story unfolds it is easy to get a picture of the scene at Jarius’ house. It would have been loud, chaotic and emotional, with people wailing and howling because the girl had died. In the midst of all the noise and emotions it is the words of Jesus to Jarius that strike me – “Do not be afraid, just have faith.” 

The first Christians remembered and wrote down this story for a reason! Perhaps, as they themselves faced real persecution and discrimination, they needed not to give into fear but to have faith. The harsh reality is that fear destroys faith! When we have faith, we know that no matter what we are facing, we don’t face it alone. We know that God will look after us, both in life and in death! In fact, faith allows us to put our lives into a bigger context and to act accordingly.

So much opportunity and potential is lost or squandered because of fear. A person is afraid they might get hurt in a relationship so they back away. A man is afraid that he might not be a good father, a good husband, a good provider – a women is afraid that she might not be a good mother, a good wife, a good provider and because of fear the opportunity is lost. An intelligent student could take a step into a difficult career, but is afraid that he or she might not succeed in the classes, and so a great nurse or doctor or lawyer or engineer never comes into existence. The gifts we are given to build, to create, to make a difference are not used because we are afraid to try something different or are fearful of being ridiculed or made fun of. So much is lost because of fear, and the words of Jesus rings true “Do not be afraid, just have faith.” 

This Sunday evening I would be surprised if Paul Green, the Queensland coach, sends the maroons out with the motivation words “Do not be afraid, just have faith.” ringing in their ears. Perhaps he should!

Fr Peter Brannelly

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