Faith Can Overcome Fear and Division

BRIDGEPORT—At a time of uncertainty, division and rancor in public discourse, we need not be overcome by our fears if we remember what Christ has taught us, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano said in his homily at Mass for the Twelfth Sunday of ordinary time.

“Jesus said to the 12 disciples, fear no one and nothing, but I ask myself, ‘How can I get to that place,’” Bishop Caggiano said in his reflection on the gospel of Matthew (10: 26-33).

The bishop began his homily by noting that when he was a young boy, an episode of Superman frightened him. It portrayed aliens coming out of the manhole covers, and he had nightmares until his mother explained that it was a TV show and he had nothing to fear.

He said that as he grows older and sees the state of the world, he finds himself growing more fearful and filled with worry along with questions about the future we are leaving for the younger generation.

“There is no listening and dialogue, things are cold and cruel. There is no mercy or tolerance and no overriding desire to seek justice despite the cost,” he said of today’s society.

“In our church I also see divisions that frighten me. I see the inability to see beyond what I want rather than what is for my neighbor’s good,” he said, urging the faithful to seek the truth of the gospel.

“Knowledge dispels fear,” the bishop said, noting that truth of faith brings hope and strength to those who believe in and follow Christ.

“You and I as believers in the Lord must remember the things we have been taught and that we know… and we know at that bottom of our heart that there is a savior and redeemer who has come to touch your life and mine.”

The bishop said that by taking up the Cross, Jesus walked in our own footsteps and knows what it is to suffer and to be lonely, misunderstood and reviled. His sacrifice gave us new life that we need not fear losing and that no one can take from us.

Referring to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s statement that there is “nothing to fear but fear itself,” the bishop said that Jesus goes one step further in that formula.

“Jesus tells us we should fear nothing–not even fear itself. With him, knowing who he is. what he has done, what he offers and what he promises, I ask you in the end, what is there to be afraid of.”

After the final blessing the bishop thanked the growing number of people who have been joining him for his regular online Sunday Mass, and he wished all men a happy Father’s Day.

“In a Special way I wish to offer my greetings and prayer so all fathers, grandfather, Godfathers, spiritual father and foster fathers. May God give you the grace to be good fathers leading hour children and all those you love to the Lord Jesus.”

To join in the Bishop’s Sunday Mass, live-streamed weekly, click this link or visit the YouTube Mass Playlist.