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Fear less, trust more

In every large shop and in every street there are now security cameras watching us and recording us. If we are law abiding then we have nothing to fear from these cameras. Nevertheless, they give the impression of a cold, beady eye intent only on catching us doing something wrong.

Some of us have been brought up to believe in God as a kind of security camera in the sky, a vengeful judge who is watching and waiting to punish us, who is always updating a long list of our wrongdoings. Some of us were programmed to fear this angry, avenging God. But this outlook makes it terribly difficult to relate to God as He is depicted by Jesus, especially in this Sunday’s gospel. In the gospel Jesus is telling us not to base our relationship with God on crippling fear. This kind of fear prevents us from proclaiming his teaching and being his witnesses in the world. Rather, Jesus is urging us to base our relationship with God on trust. When he says ‘not one sparrow falls to the ground without your father knowing,’ he wants us to know how far reaching the knowledge and care of God is. Yes, there will be times in our lives when we will be afraid but today’s gospel assures us that God is watching over us, rather than just watching us. This knowledge that God is watching over us gives us comfort, strength and hope, especially in times of difficulty. In the end, being watched over means we can start fearing less and begin trusting more.

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