Friday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

What are you afraid of? In the Harry Potter series, there is a creature called a boggart, which has no known shape of its own, but always takes the shape of what the closest person fears most. Often, the boggart’s shape revealed something very telling about the individual. The boggart became a full moon around a man who was secretly a werewolf, and became the scene of two dead children around a mother worried for her boys. Our greatest fears can tell quite a lot about who we are, what we wish to keep hidden, and what we are most afraid to lose–and so what we truly value.

Jesus encourages us to reorient our fears today. Secrets will always get out. Darkness will go away. What we should fear is not things that can happen to the body. What we should fear is what happens to our souls. However, Jesus doesn’t say this in a “the body doesn’t matter” way. The body matters so much that God knows it better than we do—for each of us, “the hairs of your head have all been counted” by God. But bodily concerns only last for a while. Concerns of the soul—our relationship with God, our love for others—last forever.

October 14th, 2016