Friday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
The gospel today speaks of not being afraid. Many of us recall how this admonition found in today’s gospel reading became the battle cry of Pope John Paul II throughout his papacy. On October 22, 1978, John Paul II inaugurated his papacy and its direction by a bold stance that called each man and women to stand bravely in the faith with Christ.
“Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of States, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid.”
This vision encompasses all humanity and all human activity. It is a vision that empowers all persons, both lay and clerical, to work to bring about the presence of Christ to every person in every aspect of human activity.
What is most remarkable about John Paul II’s life was that he kept up this fearless desire to bring Christ to the world not only in his vigorous years of his early papacy, but also at the very end of his life when his sickness left him in a state of physical debilitation. Fearless to the end, he stands as a model for us who may worry if we have the strength or the resources to carry the message of Christ to others.
This short but stirring homily may be found at: https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/homilies/1978/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_19781022_inizio-pontificato.html