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Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

May 10, 2020

A reflection for the 5th Sunday, Easter, Year A. The readings are Acts 6:1-7; Psalm 33; 1 Peter 2:4-9; and John 14:1-12.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me…”

Isn’t that exactly what we need to hear today? “Do not let your hearts be troubled”? But we do let our hearts be troubled, don’t we? Is it because we don’t have faith? Maybe. It’s hard to have faith when you have not had many experiences of God’s Grace. The disciples themselves had hearts that were troubled. So I guess we’re in good company.

And this is a time of darkness. It’s hard to see the light. It’s hard to not let our hearts be troubled.

There are those who would say that God doesn’t exist. If there was a God there wouldn’t be pandemics. But I say that that’s why I know God exists. If there wasn’t a God, this pandemic would be 1000 times worse!

But I have faith because I see how this crisis is transforming the world. I see that because of this crisis, we are listening more. We are slowing down and we are listening more to each other. We are listening to the poor. We are listening to the sick. We are listening to the earth. We are listening to God. We are also developing a culture of care. We are developing a culture of solidarity. I don’t have to give you examples of how the world is coming together to help those who need help during this time. We are also developing a culture of sacrifice. We are learning that less is more. We are becoming more grateful for what we have. We are more appreciative of work and the dignity of work. We are also developing an awareness of the Sacraments – as we are being deprived of them.

I also have faith because I see the followers of Jesus Christ, His body, the Church – you – do so many of these things in small and quiet ways to make a difference during this time. I see the Church trusting that the Holy Spirit is as active today as it was in the days after Pentecost. I see a Church that struggles with how to respond to a crisis and is willing to adapt and to make changes – as it did in our first reading today. The Apostles were faced with a little crisis and they realized that it was not all about prayer and preaching – they were also called to serve. And they realized that they couldn’t do it all. So they adapted. They changed. They grew. They let the Spirit guide them. I see that happening today. You may not realize it, but the Spirit is at work today too.

That gives me faith. That helps my heart not to be troubled.

 I hope that gives you faith too. Do not let your hearts be troubled. And do not let the hearts of others be troubled. Jesus Christ is the way out of the darkness. He is the way of Truth and the way of Life. Let’s follow His way as we decide to help the hearts of others not be troubled.

Today’s readings give us three suggestions for comforting the hearts of those who are troubled.

First: The Way of Service – that’s the lesson from the first reading. How are you of service? Maybe your service is not something huge out in the community. Maybe it’s something small at home. Don’t spend all day forwarding prayers on instagram or whatsapp; spend time with your kids; play with them; watch a movie with them; prepare a meal with them; go for walks together… that is service. Kids, do the same with your parents. How are you of service to someone every day? I know many of you are doing it, especially moms. You’re always serving, that’s why we celebrate you today. But when we serve, the first reading tells us that the Church grew: the number of disciples increased greatly. Don’t just serve because it’s the thing to do or cause it makes us feel better. Serve because you are a follower of the Way of Jesus Christ, the Servant. Do it because you are Christian. Do it because it’s a way to evangelize. Pray your way through service.

Second –  The Way of Strength: the second reading tells us that Jesus is the stone that was rejected, but He became the corner stone. He is the foundation. And because He is the foundation, his Church is also a rock – that’s us, the body of Christ, the Church. For so many who do not have faith and whose hearts are troubled, we can be their rock. We can give them a foundation to hold on to. That can be as simple as listening to them and being with them. Give them a word of strength. But don’t just send a text or a message; pick up the phone and call them. Again, many of you are already doing this – especially moms (: ) that’s why we celebrate you today). But don’t just do it because it’s a nice thing to do and it makes us feel better. Do it because you are a follower of the Way of Jesus Christ. Do it because you are a Christian. The second reading ends by saying that “You are “’a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises’ of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” That’s how we help people come out of the darkness and not have troubled hearts. We listen to them because we follow the Way of Christ, the Corner Stone.

Third – lastly, we help others come out of the darkness by the Way of Hospitality. In the Gospel, Jesus tells the apostles that He is going to prepare a place for them. That’s what hospitality is: preparing a place; preparing a space for someone. How are you reaching out to someone who needs a place or a space? Are you just serving and listening to those who are easy to serve and listen to? Are there some that you need to reach out to? To make a space for? Again – some of you already do this (especially moms, that’s why we celebrate you today – moms are always preparing a place for us), but don’t just do it because it’s the right thing to do or because it makes you feel good. Do it because you are a follower of the Way of Jesus Christ. Do it because you are a Christian. Do it because the Holy Spirit gives you the strength to do it.  At the end of the Gospel, Jesus says that whoever believes in Him will do the works that He does, and will do greater ones. We make a place for others because we follow the Way of Jesus Christ who prepares a place for us.

Do not let your hearts be troubled. There are so many signs of faith and God’s Grace around us.  And, as Christians, we have a huge responsibility, despite our own challenges, to comfort others and not let their hearts be troubled. We have a responsibility to help others come out of the darkness into the Light. We do this because we follow the Way of Jesus – the Way of Truth, the Way of Life, the Way of Service, the Way of Strength and the Way of Hospitality – the Way of Jesus Christ, who calls us out of the darkness into His wonderful Light.

From → English, Reflections

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