Rev. Peter M.J. Stravinskas: “Be Not Afraid!”

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Detail from "The Storm on the Sea of Galilee" (1632) by Rembrandt. (Image: Wikipedia)

By Peter M.J. Stravinskas, Catholic World Report, June 23, 2024

Reverend Peter M.J. Stravinskas founded The Catholic Answer in 1987 and The Catholic Response in 2004, as well as the Priestly Society of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, a clerical association of the faithful, committed to Catholic education, liturgical renewal and the new evangelization. …

(Note: This homily was preached at the Conference hosted by the Donahue Academy at Ave Maria, Florida, on the theme, “Fiat! Devotion to Mary in the Life of the Catholic Classical Educator.”)


Stop snooping into the engine room too often and heed the wise counsel of the Epistle to the Hebrews: “Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus” (12:2).

Growing up at the Jersey Shore, I have always felt a particular affinity for the many passages in the New Testament that talk about lakes, rivers, seas, and boats; I suspect you many Floridians would have a similar connection. Not infrequently, those texts deal with fearsome situations, causing Our Lord to reply with those characteristically assuring words (which became a mantra of John Paul II, who would step into the shoes of Peter the Fisherman two millennia later): “Be not afraid.”

Today we are treated to one of those fear-inducing Gospels with the apostolic boat being swamped by tumultuous waves–while Christ sleeps through it all, causing the terrified disciples to cry out: “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” Cardinal Ratzinger, as he led the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday in 2005 (but days before he would trade in his Prada shoes for those of the Fisherman), exclaimed: “Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side.” …

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