By Deacon Greg Evers, C.PP.S.
Our Gospel reading for the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time calls on us to not be afraid.
Jesus says, “Fear no one.” Hearing this small phrase reminded me of this past February when a group of Precious Blood members and Companions visited El Paso, Tex., to see how we as a religious community might respond to the issue of immigration in our country and in our local communities.
Toward the end of our visit, we had a conversation with Ruben Garcia, who is the director of Annunciation House. Anyone who participated in this immersion experience will certainly remember our visit with Ruben. During our conversation, someone asked Ruben whether he was afraid that he might get in trouble with the government someday for the work he does with immigrants. Ruben responded, “I don’t care what they may do to me. I am convinced that what I am doing now is right.”
That kind of courage requires a deep rootedness and trust in the power of the Gospel. Since then I find myself thinking more often about what it is that I am afraid of. What is keeping me from proclaiming and living the Gospel more boldly? Is it the fear of being accepted by others around me? Is it the fear of being criticized?
A spirituality of the Precious Blood calls us to go to those places that are uncomfortable. Places where others are not willing to go. We go to those uncomfortable and unpopular places not because they might make us look good in the end, but because it is the right thing to do. It is what the Gospel asks us to do. There is no place in this world where the Cry of the Blood does not call out to us from the earth. May we not be afraid to go out and respond to that cry.
Deacon Greg Evers, C.PP.S., is in ministry at St. James the Less Church in Columbus. He will be ordained to the priesthood on July 15.