See also Fear of hell
They Were Afraid of the Cross
"The Son of Man is to be handed over to men." These words of Jesus were chilling to the disciples, who expected a triumphal journey. They were words that remained for [the disciples] so mysterious that they did not grasp their meaning. The [disciples] were afraid to ask him about the matter." For them, it was better not to talk about it, it was, better not to understand, than to understand the truth, that Jesus had proclaimed: They were afraid of the Cross – they were afraid of the Cross.
Peter himself, after that solemn confession in the region of Caesarea Philippi, when Jesus again said the same thing, reproaches the Lord: ‘No, Lord! Never! Not this!" [said Peter]. He was afraid of the Cross. Not only the disciples, however, not only Peter: Jesus Himself was afraid of the Cross! He could not fool Himself, He knew. So great was Jesus’ own fear that, on that Thursday evening He did sweat blood. So great was Jesus’ fear that He almost said the same as Peter – almost: ‘Father, take this chalice from me. Thy will be done!’ This was the difference."
The Cross causes fear even in the work of evangelization. There is the "rule" according to which, "the disciple is not greater than the Master. There is the rule according to which there is no redemption without the effusion of blood," there is no fruitful apostolic work without the Cross:
Perhaps we think – each one of us can wonder: ‘And to me, what shall happen? How will my Cross be?’ We do not know. We do not know, but there will be one. We must pray for the grace not to fly from the Cross when it comes: with fear, eh! That is true. That scares us. Nevertheless, that is where following Jesus leads. The last words that Jesus spoke to Peter come to mind – in that Pontifical incoronation at Tiberias: ‘Do you love me? Peace! Do you love me? Peace!’…but the final words were these: ‘They shall take you where you do not want to go!’ The promise of the Cross."