"I woke up when I heard a voice that said 'get up,'" Mora, now 50, said on Friday at the Roman Catholic Church's administrative offices in San Jose, showing the clipping. "I was alone in my room, I only had this clipping that was published around those dates to commemorate John Paul II's papacy."
"I had it in front of me and I heard a voice again that said 'get up' and I looked at his photo and saw his open arms and I heard a voice that said 'be not afraid' and I said 'Yes Lord,'" she added between tears, a golden rosary hanging around her neck.
It amazes me how this theme runs all through the gospel. The Lord knows us so well, how the fears of life can consume us and fill us with an abiding sense of dread. He knew how the first reactions of shepherds on a hillside in Bethlehem to something new and wonderful would likely be fear. This "Be not afraid" becomes the very first proclamation of the good news.
And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for I bring you news of a great joy... Lk 2:9
In the sermon on the mount Jesus speaks to the anxieties and troubles of life.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life. what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Mt 6:25
In the upper room as Jesus ate his passover meal with his disciples, before they rise to go to Gethsemane Jesus reassures them knowing the trials that are to come.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. Jn 14:27
When the worst had befallen them and their master had been crucified, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and met an angel who said
"Do not be afraid, for I know you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen."
I do not have to live my life in a constant state of fear and anxiety, worrying over the state of the world or the Church. Both are in His hands. What I need to do this day, this morning, is to face the challenges and trials this day has to offer.
Be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you. Jer 1:8