Charles and Dominic had just completed their Secondary/High school and now are
doing their National Service. For two years they were to learn the basic skills needed to
serve and defend their country in case of war. Charles was very bright for studies but he was not a practical man. Dominic had not done so well in exams, but he was intelligent and had a small impediment/handicap, he was limping slightly. He had hoped this would free him from the service but the army commander had said there was no problem there. They had been at the training ground for three months when one evening Charles came to talk with Dominic.
I just can’t go on anymore, I have decided to go and ask for permission to go home.
I am so nervous, I can’t sleep at night. I am so afraid when the lieutenant shouts commands at us on the field. I can’t take it anymore, but most of all I fear the army commander. They all say he is a very good man, and he never gave me any warning, but I just fear him. Are you not afraid of him?
No, I know myself that he is a good man. I too, in the beginning, was afraid of him. With my limping, I was always the last man to come back from the field. I thought he would punish me, but one night, his assistant, the sergeant called me to his office. I was trembling all over. He made me sit and explained to me that he too when he was young had a limp. He said that the commander sent him to have his leg operated on. Now he is happy to serve his country as a soldier. He offered to help me if I want to have the same operation as he had. He will speak to the commander for me. You see, there is no reason to be afraid.
That night, Charles slept much better. He had made up his mind the next day he would
explain his fears to the sergeant. After his conversation with Dominic, Charles felt less afraid and more confident. This is what we are called to be ourselves in the second reading of today.
LET US BE CONFIDENT
Blessings, Fr. Seth