Jesus speaks to us in the Gospel with some very strong words. Throughout the Gospel, we hear, "Do not be afraid." That is what Gabriel says to Zachariah. That is what Gabriel says to Mary. That is exactly what the angel says to the women at the tomb: "Do not be afraid." And that is what the Lord Himself says when He appears to His disciples: "Do not be afraid, it is I. Do not be afraid, it is I. Fear is not of God. I am the God of love, a God who invites you to receive - to receive the gifts of joy and peace and gratitude of the poor, and to let go of your fears so that you can start sharing what you are so afraid to let go of."
The invitation Christ offers us is the invitation to move out of the house of fear and into the house of love: to move away out of that house of fear and into the house of love: to move away out of imprisonment into a place of freedom. "Come to me, come to my house which is the house of love," Jesus says to us. Throughout the Old and New Testament we see that invitation: "Oh, how much I desire to dwell in the house of the Lord, the Lord is my refuge, the Lord is my dwelling place, the Lord is my tent, the Lord is my safety." "Where do you live?" the Disciples ask of Jesus. "Come and see." the Lord replies. And, they stayed with him. The Word became flesh and pitched its tent among us so that God could dwell among us in the house of love. "And I am going to the Father to prepare a house for you, a space for you, because in the dwelling place of my Father there are many places for you. Make you home in me, as I have made my home in you. Live in the name of the Lord -- the name of the place where you should dwell. Where are you? Are you in the name? Are you in the place of love."
If we but keep our eyes "on the mark" as Paul so patiently implores us, fixed on the One who says in that soft, gentle whisper of a voice "Do not be afraid, it is I," we might ever so slowly be able to let go of that fear and become free enough to live in a world without borders (God did not create borders, to see the suffering of others, and to bring the Good News as we receive the Good News.
There is a fishing village south of Arizona in Senora, Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point). There are several small haciendas on the road to there from the US. None of these have electricity, running water, or sewer/septic tanks. The floors are earthen. The people are poor beyond the imagination with respect to money, goods and property. Yet, they have a treasure beyond the imagination of the wealthiest on this planet. They have love and they gladly share that wealth of love with anyone who comes their way.
May all glory and honor be given to Christ Jesus, our Lord.