“Do not fear; only believe”

Christ raises Jairus’ daughter. Wood engraving. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Wellcome Images)

This was the command of Jesus that brought the deceased daughter of Jairus to life and turned the sadness of the girl’s parents to happiness. “Do not fear; only believe” is the command of protection, the voice of encouragement, the sound of salvation and of course the voice of Jesus when He came to this earth to remove the fear from our hearts and fill us with His faith and eternal life.

In Mark 5:35-43, we read how Jesus performed a tremendous miracle. He gave life to a dead girl, which was the symbol of His resurrection and also the prefiguration of resurrection of all the deceased who died believing in Jesus. That day Jesus turned the doubt of his followers to belief, the sadness of the girl’s parents to happiness and the dead girl to life; and He showed us the power of faith, which every Christian should follow.

In our faith we find the true meaning of God’s actions and teachings. Faith is the center of Christian life. Christianity is based on three important graces: faith, hope and love. Christ never asked the poor or the sick: who are you? What is your station in life? Are you rich or poor? The only thing He ever asked was: do you believe in me and have faith that I can heal you?

This is the power of faith in Christian life that heals illness, raises the deceased, saves spirits, calms us and gives us peace during our hard and difficult days.

Faith is the key to miracles and the door of heaven. Our minds help us reach the door of heaven, but our faith opens that door and allows us to enter. Faith gives us complete trust in God and allows us to entrust our lives to God’s mercy. In our daily lives we are all equal in front of God. He will measure us by our faith.

By giving life to the dead girl, Jesus also destroyed the fear of death in us because He proclaimed, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” (John 11: 25-26)

Let us think about this command and evaluate ourselves during these rather unprecedented times. Do we have fear in our lives? Are we afraid of anyone or anything, and if we are, how do we react against it and remove it from our lives?

Every one of us has fear of something. We are afraid of being ill, being unlucky. We are afraid of the future; we don’t know what will happen in a moment. So we have a fear of the future. We are afraid for our children; we do everything we can and are watchful to keep our children safe. We hope everything that belongs to us is not lost. Jesus is always in our lives and assures us He loves us. We just have to believe in Him, and we will find protection, salvation and happiness.

We also have to keep in mind that believing in Jesus is a miracle in our life. When we believe in Him, it means we have in us the power of the Holy Spirit, who will lead our path to peace and success. When Jesus was teaching His disciples about faith, He said, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say this to a mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”

Today, Jesus invites us to believe in Him and live His faith in our lives. Having faith as part of our lives makes us powerful to overcome our daily troubles. Each of us has our own difficulties. To overcome them is something impossible, but with God and faith everything impossible will be possible. With our Christian faith we will overcome our problems. We will be stronger than in the past and will enjoy the goodness of God who gives us the power to overcome.

This year is the 105th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and on April 24 we are celebrating the Feast of Armenian Genocide Holy Martyrs. I think about the faith and the strong will that our forefathers had when they were facing the Turks who were threatening them with sharp daggers and bloody swords. I think about the heavenly power that trampled on death and gave victory for a nation to be witness to that faith and power. That was the true Christian faith that kept our forefathers strong against the devil and let them, with their shedding of blood, sacrifice for their faith and national identity.

We, as Armenians, are still living the pure faith that led our forefathers to bring our nation back to life after the Armenian Genocide. We have to keep that faith in order to pass it on to our new generation. 

Here is the command of Jesus and here is the call of our Holy Martyrs. Let us keep both alive. 

Very. Rev. Fr. Ghevont Pentezian

Very. Rev. Fr. Ghevont Pentezian

Very Rev. Ghevont was born in 1986 in Kessab, Syria. In 1998 he was accepted into the Theological Seminary of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia where he successfully completed the nine-year course of theological study. He was ordained a celibate priest on June 10, 2007. In December 2010 he received the rank of Vartabed after successfully presenting his thesis, “The Saints in the Armenian Liturgical Calendar.” In May 2016 he received the rank of Dzayrakoun Vartabed after successfully presenting his thesis. Since October 8, 2015, Father Pentezian is the pastor of Armenian All Saints Apostolic Church in Glenview, Illinois.
Very. Rev. Fr. Ghevont Pentezian

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