Fear No One, Speak the Truth
The Gospel of this Sunday's Mass tells us not to be afraid to reveal, make known, speak, and proclaim to the world all that Jesus taught his followers. Jesus taught much about life liberating truths and instructed his Church to do likewise without mincing words or with ambiguity for fear of how the world would respond to radical forms of these sacred truths. It is easy to get intimidated by rejection or hostility from those presented the demanding doctrines of Jesus, but the Lord reminds us that God has got our backs. If God in his providence places value on mere sparrows, how much more human beings created in his image and likeness, God will see to our preservation from dangers that will come on account of the proclamation of divine truth.
We should never compromise these truths out of fear of losing our lives, friendships, family, or any other earthly goods. We ought to proclaim Gospel truths boldly whether the condition is comfortable or not; what is at stake is too vital to begin watering down these truths or shying away from throwing light on them before the world. Like prophet Jeremiah, we must trust in God who "rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked" (Jer. 20:13). Whenever we speak the truth about God's plan for humanity, we should be ready to bear insults and face rejections from even our loved ones, and we should have recourse to God, praying for his favor and help (Ps. 69: 8-17).
Pope St. John Paul II said in his famous homily on October 22, 1978, "Do not be afraid….do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power." I say to you, too, do not be afraid to tell the world there is hell, and there is heaven. Do not be afraid to proclaim that Jesus is the Son of God and only He can save the world from despair. Do not be afraid to tell your friends and strangers alike that they need to open wide the doors of their hearts to Jesus, their Savior. Do not be afraid to bear witness to the Gospel truth concerning the dignity of all human life from conception to natural death. Do not be afraid to speak for justice for the poor. Do not be afraid to be a voice on the rooftops condemning racial injustice and senseless violence in our world; do not be afraid to be a prophetic voice for our time like Jeremiah was for his time. Do not be afraid to welcome Christ and his power to save.
As we get into the summer season, please stay safe on your vacations and travels, and do not forget your home parish, St. Peter. Stay in touch and share your summer experiences with us, especially the moments of God's providence and grace, the many instances you acknowledged Jesus and his Gospel before people you encountered. Never miss an opportunity to put into use the abundant graces you receive from the Sacraments and the Word of the Spirit.
I use this opportunity to wish all our fathers-including the "father" writing this message, a blessed Father's Day celebration. Our fathers are like St. Joseph, protecting and caring for their families, please say words of thanks to our fathers this week. We love our fathers, proclaim it on the housetops!
In Christ, our Help,
Fr. Bernard Oniwe, O.P.