Sirach 1:14: “To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; she is created with the faithful in the womb.”
We should pray to the Lord to bless us with the wisdom that we need to overcome the temptations of this world, which are contrary to the will of God. He will definitely give us this wisdom if we ask for it. As we read in Romans 8:6-8: “To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” So if we want peace in our mind, in our family and in our society, we should avoid the sins of the flesh. This is an important point to remember.
The fear of God (not literally to be frightened of God but put very simply a basic desire not to offend him because we know that he is so holy and perfect and loving) is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit which helps us to refrain from the sins of the flesh and worldliness. “Those who fear the Lord do not disobey his words, and those who love him keep his ways. Those who fear the Lord seek to please him, and those who love him are filled with his law. Those who fear the Lord prepare their hearts, and humble themselves before him.” (Sirach 2:15-17) Without fear of the Lord it is easy to ignore or disobey the commandments and we will not be able to withstand the temptation to sin.
How encouraging is the promise of the Lord to those who fear him. As we read in Deuteronomy 28:1-3: “ If you will only obey the Lord your God, by diligently observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth; all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the Lord your God: Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field.” So let us keep on loving the Lord, and fearing him to claim these blessings that he offers us. “O fear the Lord, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want.” (Psalms34:9) Sirach 1:13 further promises “Those who fear the Lord will have a happy end; on the day of their death they will be blessed.” Lord, what more could we wish for.
There is another great promise in the book of Malachi 3:16-18 “Those who feared God talked to one another about this, and God took note and listened; and a book of remembrance was written in his presence recording those who feared him and kept his name in mind. ‘On the day when I act,’ says the Lord, ‘they will be my most prized possession, and I shall spare them in the way a man spares the son who serves him. Then once again you will see the difference between the upright person and the wicked one, between the one who serves God and the one who does not serve him.” Let us claim a happy end by fearing the Lord, and in this way we will be able to reject all bad thoughts, words and deeds.
May our loving father bless you with all his promises. Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil