When I was younger, I loved to fish. I remember on time as a 5-year-old going fishing with my dad and uncle to Marsh Creek, our usual fishing spot. When we got there, my dad set me up on a ledge above the water which seemed very high for a 5-year-old. He put a worm on the hook and helped me cast out. My dad and uncle took their spots, one on each side of me. As soon as they cast their lines was as soon as I slipped off of the ledge and into the water. I was so scared that I was going to drown. I didn’t know how to swim and started to flap my arms and my legs. There was a little bit of a current and I was moving down the creek a bit.
What felt like eternity in the cold water was probably only 15 seconds. I felt my dad pick me up, look at me with a smile, and say, “Matt just stand up.” I put my legs down and found out that the water only went to my chest! Being afraid is normal, but Fear can be so paralyzing that we are afraid to even stand up when we are asked.
There are so many things we can be scared of right now, but I think what a lot people are scared of the most are that things are just so uncertain in life. We just don’t know exactly what the future will hold for us and, too often, we can allow this to dominate and define our lives. When we allow Fear to be so strong in us, we don’t allow Christ’s peace in our hearts or trust that God loves us.
Jesus reminds all of us today, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” He tells us do not ever be afraid to approach Him no matter what happens in life. He is with us and is ready to pick us up even when we fall and are too scared to get up. He looks us in the eye with a huge smile and says, “Just stand up. I am with you.” As we prepare to approach Jesus once again in the Eucharist, taking those small steps to receive him, do not ever be afraid to know that He is with us no matter what happens in life.