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From our Old Testament reading, from Isaiah: ‘Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”’

Pope St John Paul II said at the inauguration of his Petrine ministry, ‘Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors for Christ!’ He continued: ‘So often today man does not know what is within him, in the depths of his mind and heart. So often he is uncertain about the meaning of his life on this earth. He is assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns into despair. We ask you therefore, we beg you with humility and trust, let Christ speak to man. He alone has words of life, yes, of eternal life’.

‘Do not be afraid!’ Let us take these words to heart today and live them out in the circumstances of our daily lives. May St John Paul II pray for us, and may God bless you this day.