Last Palm Sunday, bombs exploded in two churches in Egypt, killing 45 people. In an interview, a Coptic bishop explained that many people died because the church was jampacked. Considering the threats and the violence suffered by Christians in some parts of the Middle East, their faithful attendance at church is remarkable, admirable, surprising. “Terror on every side”, as the first reading says (Jer 20: 10-13) and yet the true Christian feels no reason to retreat and to run.

Jesus encourages us today: “Fear no one” (Mt. 10: 26). Unlike persecuted Christians everywhere in the world, many of us enjoy security and comfort like never before. Our lives are full of things that make us impervious to the attacks of terrorist. We are safe. We have resources. We are free.

And yet, many times we cannot avoid other “enemies”. They may not target our bodies. But they do intend to harm our reputation or good name, our relationships, our health, our dreams and ambitions. If they cannot kill the body, certainly, they will attempt to kill the soul. They will try to harm our hearts. They will try to crush our spirits.

How can we overcome fears of these things? I believe the key is relationship with the Lord. If we believe how precious we are in the eyes of the Father and how close we are to his heart, we will overcome all fear. We know stories of people who walked in the darkest tunnels of life, and yet did not feel any tinge of fear. We know of people who have gone through the most harrowing experiences and yet confess that they did not feel they were alone. I believe that this is only possible because they opened their hearts to the invitation of the Lord to have a deep and living relationship with him.

 “So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” – Don’t these words say how much the Father loves and cares for us?

We may not see terrorists around us but our lives may be surrounded by many constant threats. If we want to survive all these and even conquer them, let us know the Lord in a deeper way and follow him not with the mind but with the heart. Let us acknowledge his love for and power over us.