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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

What has primacy over war, insurrection and natural disaster? Your witness to Christ

Christ, the Word of the Father, commands those who believe in Him, "Do not be terrified." If we stand in the face of war and insurrection is breaking our society apart, and fires and floods and storms and earthquakes threaten at every side, "Do not be terrified." If false prophets predict utter catastrophe and declare the end of time, "Do not be terrified." To be terrified is to be so seized with fear that you are not able to do anything or think of anything. But Christ commands us not to be terrified. This is because what He reveals is more powerful than natural or manmade disasters. Whatever the catastrophe—He is Lord and nothing can impede his power. With Him there is always a future for each person and for all of humanity—no matter what happens. This is why He declares that "before" any disaster that might befall us is His saving plan. Before the worse catastrophe that we might imagine, we should expect to be imprisoned, mocked, ridiculed, humiliated in all kinds of ways. Why does the Almighty God allow his beloved to suffer in this way? Because before all the threatening circumstances and misfortunes of life—and actually into these very realities—He has sent his beloved to provide a word of hope. He has sent his disciples, his faithful followers to witness to the exceeding love of God and to declare it so that those who might need it the most can find it where and when it seems absent. With the love of God revealed by Christ, even in total disaster and insurmountable hardship, a man can stand firm with hope—because this eternal love opens to horizons the exigencies of the moment cannot hold back.

God's love shatters the prison walls of rancor, strife, animosity, bitterness and disappointment. God's love opens possibilities even in the face of grave injustice and horrific evil - a life line to those who are surrounded by death. God's love sanctifies broken wombs and raises up to life those whose lives we have destroyed. God's love pricks the conscience of the hardest heart and brings to repentance those everyone assumes are set in their ways. God's love raises out of the narrow confines of the pressing moment, raises above the social conventions of every historical epoch, and breaks open the dams of human potential—for those who know this love remember what it means to be a human being. It is because of this love that Christ tells us, "Do not be terrified."

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