Fear! If we let it, can consume us and control us! What are your biggest fears? Spiders? Heights? Water? Or the other kind of fears: failure; illness; death; walking home at night on your own. I could go on and on. The list is endless. Fear is all around us and there are so many fears to choose from.
But the prophet Jeremiah in our first reading won’t let fear consume him. Jeremiah is in prison because the people of Israel have totally rejected his message from God. As a result of their rejection they will be defeated and will be taken hostage by Babylon, and lose their wealth. Jeremiah’s enemies want him to fail and fall “perhaps he will be seduced into error, and then we will master him and take our revenge” (v.11) but Jeremiah remembers that God is with him, his enemies will fail because God is just, God tests and sees. Jeremiah praises the Lord because he has confidence that God will deliver him and all who need his protection. Jeremiah’s trust rests in the confidence that the divine word is about to be fulfilled. His mission as a prophet is accomplished, and he is vindicated as a true prophet! He has nothing to fear anymore!
Oh, to have such faith, such trust, such confidence. Let that be our prayer now and throughout our lives. May it also be our prayer for and that of our young adults receiving the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation this weekend. May they be enriched with the power of our prayers, our faith and our example of discipleship. May the Holy Spirit instill in them the courage and trust in the Lord they need to be authentic and true witnesses to the love of God in our world!