A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John 14:1-12
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father's house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way."
Thomas said to him,
"Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?"
Jesus said to him, I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him."
Philip said to him,
"Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us."
Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father."
Jesus says to his disciples: "Do not let your hearts be troubled." How do I 'let' my heart be troubled? The word "let" says something to us here. If I let/allow/permit something, it is my "choosing, I allow it." I have the ability and the freedom also, to not allow my heart to be disquieted and troubled. I can choose to remain in the Peace of Christ. How can I choose to remain with Jesus? How can I change the direction that 'my heart is heading'; away from fear, anger, hurt, rejection, anxiety, strife, confusion, heartache and towards peace, freedom and hope? "You believe in God believe also in Me." Faith! Perhaps one 'expression' of Faith, is Confidence. To 'believe in Jesus' is to know in my heart, to hold with conviction and confidence the belief that Jesus is with me, I am not alone, and he knows everything going on inside my heart right now. He loves me, I am precious to Him. Faith, in the expression of Confidence, places my heart in his hands allowing Him to hold me in His Peace. In this passage our Lord is reminding the disciples (and us) that He is one in the Father. Our Lord wants us to live in the providence of the Father, surrendered to Him, trusting Him, so that we can live in His Peace and enjoy the journey with Him. As Mother Teresa told us, as young sisters; "The Journey is the Gift." Many things can trouble our hearts, let us look at just a few: 1) We can feel our hearts troubled, when we pass through times of suffering, and feel alone and forget that Jesus is near to us. 2) We can feel our hearts troubled when we desire something so deeply and it seems unattainable. 3.) We can feel our hearts troubled when we feel something is desired of us or from us, and we feel it is beyond our reach. 4.) We can feel our hearts troubled, when someone we love is troubled and we feel unable to help.
1.) Today our car broke down on the causeway and I felt 'troubled' in my heart. I tried to reach help but couldn't connect. So I felt alone. Jesus sent help within a few minutes, 4 cars passed my way and pulled off the road and turned around to see how to help me and one drove all the way into town, just to get help. I 'let my heart be troubled' by anxiety, but Jesus restored my heart to peace right away. Jesus wants us to live in Him, to live in His Peace. Because He loves us, He wants us to 'see Him' in our daily journey. He is the Gift!
2.) A young adult who came up on an expedition this past year shared with me, how she can't conceive and how deeply they long for children. It seems unattainable in the present situation. Then after prayer, hope filled her heart and she wrote in a letter to me: "I know God will help us, I trust Him, I know He can do the impossible, I just know it!" My eyes teared up-the faith of this young woman, so filled with peace and hope, so trusting in God-Confident in Him and at peace in Him. Faith 'moved her' there.
3.) A few months back, I was really disquieted over something so seemingly trivial, yet it struck a chord in my heart very deeply because when Jesus desires something, I want to give it to Him immediately. Someone, whom I love and respect, said to me: "You need to become more Bold, much more Bold, like your patron!" It troubled my heart so deeply because the words called from me, something I didn't think I had, nor wanted even to have, and yet it seemed something the Lord desired from me. So I said to Jesus; " How can I become bold Jesus? How to do it, because I have no peace inside my heart? (Sometimes what troubles us, what we think God is asking from us, is not at all what He is asking.) So I drove down to Sturgeon Bay, to Walgreens to pick up a prescription and when I walked into the store, in the midst of my inner turmoil, I said to Jesus (in my heart), 'Lord, show me what Bold looks like in me, in your eyes?' No sooner did I speak those words, did my answer come, as I walked down the isle towards the back of the store where the Pharmacy was, my eyes fell upon this display in the isle-Jesus spoke in a most creative way.... My heart literally 'leapt" inside me and I was immediately restored to peace and freedom.
4.) A young Mother was sharing with me a few months back, how she had lost peace burdened with anxiety and fear over her little child. She realized what was needed was abandonment-giving her child back to Jesus, not grasping in fear, but releasing her, in love, trusting Jesus with the precious treasure she possessed in the whole world. Peace filled her heart, through this act of Faith.
Where have I lost peace recently? What stole it? What did I allow to "trouble me?" What did I let "press me down-troubling me?"
"All the way to heaven is heaven, for Jesus is the way." (St. Catherine of Sienna)
2nd Meditation point
"I will come back again and take you to myself." I love this sentence! How intimate are those words. "I" and "you". It is between Jesus and me...all that is going on. It is between us- We are all, in a very personal relationship with Jesus Christ, whether we realize it or not. When our Lord says; "I will take you to myself", what image comes into your mind?