Thought of the Day April 14, 2020 Courage

By 10:17 AM

"Courage. This is a word often spoken by Jesus in the Gospels. Only once do others say it, to encourage a person in need: “Courage; rise, [Jesus] is calling you!” (Mk 10:49). It is he, the Risen One, who raises us up from our neediness. If, on your journey, you feel weak and frail, or fall, do not be afraid, God holds out a helping hand and says to you: 'Courage!'. You might say, as did Don Abbondio (in Manzoni’s novel), 'Courage is not something you can give yourself' (I Promessi Sposi, XXV). True, you cannot give it to yourself, but you can receive it as a gift. All you have to do is open your heart in prayer and roll away, however slightly, that stone placed at the entrance to your heart so that Jesus’ light can enter. You only need to ask him: 'Jesus, come to me amid my fears and tell me too: Courage!' With you, Lord, we will be tested but not shaken. And, whatever sadness may dwell in us, we will be strengthened in hope, since with you the cross leads to the resurrection because you are with us in the darkness of our nights; you are certainty amid our uncertainties, the word that speaks in our silence, and nothing can ever rob us of the love you have for us." (Pope Francis)

It takes the grace of courage to face difficult situations in life. But that grace is always available to those who believe and accept Jesus as the Lord of their lives. It was this courage that ennobled the apostles to stand firm against the threats of the religious leaders after Pentecost. It was this courage that enabled the many martyrs to face cruel deaths because of their unwavering faith and hope in Jesus. As we face the uncertainties of the present and future, we need to ask God for this gift of courage, knowing that nothing can separate us from the love and presence of God. As we keep our hearts rooted in Jesus, his grace of courage will strengthen us.

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