that starts in an atmosphere of little or no information. It causes divisiveness
and eventually stops productivity. I worked for a company that announced it was
purchasing another company. FUD arose – fear (of losing our jobs), uncertainty
(about the future of our organization), and doubt (that our leaders could manage
the purchase and merger). FUD slowed our enthusiasm to solicit new business,
clouded our customer service, slowed productivity, and caused many sleepless
nights. Christians and the Church are not immune to FUD.
In the years that followed Christ’s resurrection, the early church was in a state
of FUD. Saint Paul, who wrote more than 20% of the New Testament, was a FUD
buster. If you listen closely to his letters, you can hear Paul easing fears,
eliminating uncertainly, and minimizing doubt. To bust FUD, Paul advanced the
notion of God’s Grace – a free gift from God that forgives our sins and makes us
worthy to stand with Christ and share with him in Holy Communion. Paul also
taught that grace eliminates fear of being good enough for God. God’s Grace is
sufficient. Grace is a free gift to everyone, slave or free, rich or poor, male
or female, we all have it. This guarantee removes uncertainty. As for doubt,
Paul wrote to the Church in Corinth that he wanted to pass on to them what had
been passed on to him, that “Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures
said, he was buried, and was raised on the third day, he was seen by Peter, then
the twelve, then more than 500 followers, some of whom are still alive, then by
James and later by all the apostles.” (1 Cor 15:3-9) Paul didn’t make this up.
He received it as it was handed to him by eye witnesses, many of whom were still
alive at the time of his letter.
Is there FUD in your life? And if so, what are your FUD busters?
Kathy Mullen was a FUD buster. Born on October 29, 1960, in Fresno, she had Down syndrome. She learned gymnastics on an old mattress held together by duct tape in a dusty backyard. Her outdoor hobby eventually became a gymnastics program for both able-bodied and special needs athletes of all ages that now serves more than 3,000 people per year. Kathy was Fresno’s first Special Olympian. She would support and hug athletes who were feeling down. Kathy would offer her love freely to all those she met. In the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, there was a lot of FUD around Down’s syndrome. Kathy, through her spirit, love, and passion for gymnastics, broke down the fear, uncertainty, and doubt around special needs children and adults. She showed that all are loved and all have different and special abilities. Kathy passed away on July 18 but her FUD busting will continue through the Break the Barriers Gym.
May God’s Grace, shown in many ways, like through Paul’s writing or Kathy’s love and passion, break down any barriers of fear, uncertainty and doubt that may be in your life,
- Fr. Marshall