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Friends, three times in today’s Gospel Jesus tells us not to be afraid. When we fear, we cling to who we are and what we have; we see ourselves as the threatened center of a hostile universe. Fear is the “original sin” of which the Church Fathers speak. Fear is the poison that was injected into human consciousness and human society from the beginning.

And fear is a result of forgetting our deepest identity. At the root and ground of our being there is what Christianity calls “the image and likeness of God.” This means that at the foundation of our existence, we are one with the divine power that continually creates and sustains the universe. We are held and cherished by the infinite love of God.

When we rest in this center and realize its power, we know that we are safe, or in more classical religious language, “saved.” And therefore we can let go of fear and begin to live in radical trust. But when we lose sight of this rootedness in God, we live exclusively on the tiny island of the ego, and our lives become dominated by fear.