By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
A couple of weeks ago my son was really stressed over a final project he was working on for a college class. The amount of work left was daunting and, even if he pulled an all-nighter, he might not be able to finish it all. Rather than fueling him to work harder, the stress was dividing his attention and making him work slower. He couldn’t concentrate and was getting very upset. His mood affected everyone in the house, as we made futile attempts to encourage him. I finally looked him in the eye and said, “What is the worst thing that could happen?” I could see how his mind was snapped out of the dark place it had been pulled into as he tried to make sense of my words. “I fail?”, he asked back. I said: “Yes, and you just take the class again next semester. No big deal.” He calmed down, finished his work, and I am happy to say, passed his class. It was only through an encounter with the truth that he could be free from the fear that was paralyzing him.
How many times do we stop ourselves from doing something we want to do because of fear? Unfortunately for me the answer is way too many. I worry about so many things! I find myself asking “What if?” and playing all kinds of (often terrible) scenarios in my head. And, every time I give into that mindset, I am letting my mind and heart get divided. I am moving my attention from whatever God wants me to do, to the fear the enemy wants me to entertain. And oh boy, do I entertain! Every time I am giving fear my attention, I am ignoring the guest I invited to make a dwelling in me, and I might as well be asking Him to leave.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory
in his inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of his power
for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of his great might:
which he worked in Christ,
raising him from the dead
and seating him at his right hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
“What is the worst thing that could happen?” is a good question to ask when fear takes hold and paralyzes us. But we need to ask the question in the light of Truth, in the light of Easter. The Solemnity we celebrate this week is the Truth that can set us free and snap us back into reality. The Ascension of the Lord reminds us that He has gone before us to prepare a place for us. That Jesus conquered death, and that we have nothing to fear.
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We are Ivonne Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.