Sunday, December 18, 2016

What We Need To Fear

Everyone at times is fearful. Without the emotion of fear, we would have difficulty taking care of ourselves. Not able to distinguish between what we should do and not do would be our downfall. A problem is we are fearful of what there is no need to fear.

A professor emeritus in the With Bible magazine shares his ideas on the subject with his readers. He quotes from a couple of philosophers on their understanding of fear-a basic phenomenon to manage anxiety. We find ways to avoid what gives us fear: the object of fear, fear itself and the reasons for fear all are involved. Fear is not always bad. Another said that fear is the beginning of wisdom, the opportunity for service, work, and way to enjoy freedom. We all have objects and reasons for fear.

Many in Korea see the country ignoring the needs of the farmers in spite of pledges. Because of this situation, farmers leave the country to demonstrate in Seoul. One farmer, Baek Nam-gi, was struck by a police water cannon last November and remained in a coma for almost a year before he died recently. He was a symbol of what many see as the erosion of freedom of assembly in the country. He was a Catholic who acted according to his beliefs.

Many priests and a few bishops expressed their sorrow for the death and complained about the public power that brought about his death, and criticized the lack of responsibility and the abuse of power. The writer does not understand why church leaders were not more critical of what happened when a farmer was killed. The incident was distorted and the public opinion was manipulated. There is a time when speech is necessary. The time must not be missed. Why the fear?

The middle class is no longer present and to speak of a middle-class church is anachronistic. The Church is not a worldly enterprise but a community that feels with those who are hurting and serves as their mouthpiece. This is the Gospel message."Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and yet don't do what I tell you?" (Lk. 6;46).

When justice is trampled, democracy mocked, and personality not honored we have hell. God's kingdom begins here on earth: 'they will be done on earth as it is in heaven'  we are to build his kingdom here and now. This is the task that we have as Christians.

The Christian name of farmer Baek was Emmauel: God is with us. When criticism and debate are stymied in the Church we cease to be light and salt. We need to reflect and repent, this is our work as children of God-and to determine what we really have to fear.

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