Whom Should You Fear?

“Whom Should You Fear?”
A reflection on Luke 12:4-5
Friday of the Twenty-Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.

Luke 12:4-5

Fear God Alone

When the human person is filled with the Spirit of God, fear of evildoers can have no foothold. Every external evil that can befall human beings is nothing compared to the evil that one allows to fester within. Sin makes a Gehenna of the inner chamber of the heart. 

Fear of evil cannot control one who loves.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love.

1 John 4:18

For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7

Fear of the Lord (reverence and awe) has the opposite effect of timidity and cowardice.

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Proverbs 1:7

Love Conquers Death

Countless martyrs who followed their crucified Lord demonstrate the power and beauty of divine love overcoming death.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.

Psalm 23:4

Wisdom of the Little Flower

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the “Little Flower” and Doctor of the Church, inspired the second line of the couplet: “Little flow’rs fear not the Gehenna of sin.” The Carmelite saint taught that childlike faith in God casts out fear and even devils. God the Father overwhelms us with love and mercy, and to stay in the arms of God is to live in light, trust, and confidence.

When a garden of paradise blooms within,
Little flow’rs fear not the Gehenna of sin.

Related posts:

We Are Our Neighbors’ Keepers
Let the Children Come to Me
Meditation on Light, Series I, Day 1

Links to the Wisdom of St. Therese of Lisieux

Without Fear
How St. Therese of Lisieux scared away two little devils

6 Replies to “Whom Should You Fear?”

    1. Thank you for your lovely couplet!

      From the Wisdom of St. Teresa of Avila:

      Let nothing disturb you;
      Let nothing frighten you,
      All things pass away.
      God never changes.
      Patience obtains all things.
      He who has God,
      finds he lacks nothing.
      God alone suffices.

  1. Dear GMC, thank you for the links to the Wisdom of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. They led me to the poem (which I never knew before!! Thank you!) by St. Thérèse of Lisieux, To Live of Love. So nourishing, like your reflection. Here’s an excerpt:
    To live of love, it is to know no fear;
    No memory of past faults can I recall;
    No imprint of my sins remaineth here;
    The fire of Love divine effaces all.
    O sacred flames! O furnace of delight!
    I sing my safe sweet happiness to prove.
    In these mild fires I dwell by day, by night.
    I live of love!

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