FEARING HUMAN OPINION
(Friday, April 28)
It is only human, to fear human opinion, and to feel somewhat troubled when we are not honored or at least respected by other people in our midst. But our Lord tells us in today’s Gospel reading that faith in Him, true faith, is not possible for us when we slip into this kind of fear: “How can you believe,” He asks us, “who receive honor/glory (δόξαν) from one another, and do not seek the honor/glory (δόξαν) that comes from the only God?” (Jn 5:44) It is not possible to have faith, when merely-human fear rules our hearts. Because fear is the opposite of faith.
How can I turn this around, when I feel troubled and fearful of negative human opinion, and how can I begin to “seek the honor/glory that comes from the only God”? I can open my heart to communion with Him, I’m thinking this morning, as I sit and type this on a rooftop terrace in Rome. I find the peace of proper glory, of the “right glory” (“ortho-doxy”) that is not the opinion of all of *us* about me, when I place myself before Christ and make sure that I am sitting at His feet, as I am, with a heart broken and humbled by my failures and successes. He lets us do that, when we let ourselves do that, because “a broken and humble heart God does not despise.” (Ps 50/51:17) And He defends us, as we sit at His feet, when others would want us to be doing something else, because this is “the one thing needed.” He says: This child of Mine “has chosen the good part, which will not be taken from her” (Lk 10:42). So today let us make ourselves right with Him, sitting at His feet as we are, and not worry about what others think is more “needed.” Thank You, Lord, for chasing self-centered fear out of our hearts, and bless this sunny Friday with Your brightness.