Yesterday, the Christian world celebrated the feast of Pentecost, the fiftieth day after Easter. We hear in the Gospel how the Apostles were all gathered together in a locked room in fear. What they were afraid of is really unimportant. If it were fear for their lives, or fear that they would be tortured, or just fear that they would be ridiculed… whatever the fear is of little consequence. The most important aspect of their fear is that it resulted in their doing… NOTHING!!

There they were huddled behind locked doors. What did they speak of? Were they praying? The matter was grave so obviously, there was no levity. Their hearts were heavy, were troubled by the “abandonment” of Jesus. Though they had been with Him for three years, had heard His words of love and peace, had seen the miraculous cures of lepers, of people born blind, of people who had died, they were still afraid. And, in spite of all that they had seen, had heard, had understood by being with Jesus because of this fear they could do nothing. The fear gripped their hearts so intently that it rendered them incapable of speaking about Jesus, preventing them from showing the love and peace that had been theirs just a few days earlier.

Such is the curse of fear. Whoever it grips it renders them powerless. It prevents them from saying and doing what they know must be said or done. To combat this Jesus comes to them and simply tells them, “Peace be to you”. In saying this to them, He is also saying it to us, as well, “Peace be to you”. For fear and peace cannot co-exist.

What fears do we have? What are the things that prevent us from doing what is right? What fears have locked us inside our own hearts? They are many, our fears. We fear being ridiculed. We fear being regarded as a failure. We fear what others may think or say about us. Are we afraid we might be judged incompetent, dreamers, foolhardy? We might be rejected. We might be laughed at. If I do that, people will wonder about me, they will think I am crazy, they will talk about me behind my back.

What are our FEARS?? What are OUR fears??? We cannot ignore them. We must be able to recognize and admit to ourselves what they are. In the quiet time of our lives we have to objectively look at ourselves and see what irrational fears we have. With the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel we need to recognize what does and does not belong and take the necessary steps to remove that which does not. The causes of fear may run deep. We may or may not be able to see or understand them. But what we can do is to see and understand the resultant fears. I may not know why I am fearful of what people think of me, but I can recognize that that fear does exist. If we can see it as irrational, then we can begin to take the necessary steps to overcome it.

How do I want to be? Is what I want to be a good or a bad? If it is a bad, then I must look elsewhere, for what I want to be. If it is a good, then what is preventing me from being that way? If you dig deep enough, you will find the preventer is a fear. That fear is the key to your future. It is the key to your heart. That fear is what is preventing you from being the person you want to be, is preventing you from being the person the world needs you to be. That fear is preventing you from being the loving person your family needs you to be. It is preventing the Peace of Christ from filling your heart.