Taking The Leap of Faith
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Long before Peter was crucified for his fidelity to the Lord, Jesus asked him three times, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Peter’s heartfelt response echoes the response of countless disciples, saints, and martyrs from every culture and epoch of Christianity’s long history. It is love and love alone that gives value to the gift of our life to God and to our acceptance of his will.
How many times we must stretch forth our hands in surrender! The martyrs faced fear, misunderstanding, and pain as they handed over their lives as faithful witnesses to Jesus. While we may not be called to that kind of radical witness, many times we need to accept realities, people, and events that we naturally resist and cannot change. Marriage and the birth of a child are strong moments when a young couple take a leap of faith. Ordination and the profession of religious vows are intense occasions when lives are given over in complete surrender. As we age, we often have to endure sickness, diminishing strength, and dependence on others. The acceptance of the daily burdens of life and fidelity to our primary commitments are all ways that we are called to grow in prayer and trust.
We may often feel fearful to take a risk of faith. We are afraid that God will ask too much and that we will fall short. God understands this fear! Yet, whatever happens, God is with us and invites us to follow him. Sad and painful events will happen in our lives, but we have no reason to be afraid, because we are never alone. The phrase “Do not be afraid!” occurs many times in Scripture because God wants to assure us of his presence at all times.
Jesus, Good Shepherd, you first stretched forth your hands for me and showed your love to the end. May I pour out my life for love of you and your people. May I not run away from my Christian vocation when I feel afraid of witnessing to you before others. Help me to be faithful until I enjoy the fullness of your presence. May your Spirit’s gift of fortitude strengthen me to proclaim the truth in love, so that your word may find a home in the hearts of all with whom I live and work.
Jesus, you are my way; help me to follow you.
Daughters of Saint Paul. (2011). Easter Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 126–127). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.