May 13, 2022
by Andy Alexander, S.J.
Creighton University's Collaborative Ministry Office
click here for photo and information about the writer

Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 283

Acts 13:26-33
Psalm 2:6-7, 8-9, 10-11ab
John 14:1-6

Celebrating Easter Home

Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

Pope Francis on this Gospel

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Prayers by and for Mothers

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."
- John 14

Today we begin the Last Discourse of John's Gospel - Jesus' last message to his disciples. As he has said so many times, to so many people in distress, "Do not be afraid," so here he says, "Do not let your hearts be troubled?" Why would their hearts be troubled? He was going to be put to death, and though he would rise from the dead, he would be leaving them. He will promise that he isn't leaving them orphans. His Spirit would remain with them. But, it was a distressed time for them. And, why should they not be troubled? Because he goes to prepare a place for us.

Too often, we forget the fundamental Good News, in our everyday, busy, often troubled lives. Jesus has defeated not only the power of our sin, by showing us unconditional mercy, but his rising from the dead marks his victory over our death. Our death - not even the small deaths that we encounter in so many ways in our life - are not the end of the story. He went to prepare a place for us. It is the ultimate promise and reassurance. And, if we let it, it can be the ultimate source of our Christian courage and hope.

He tells us we "know the way," but obviously the disciples had to ask: "Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?" We are so grateful they asked that question because Jesus' answer is central to our Christian faith life. Jesus himself is the WAY! It is through Jesus we find our way to eternal life.

Just what that means deserves some serious reflection. Basically, it means living our lives not "in my way," but "his way." It means so knowing, loving and following his patterns that they become mine. It means that the more my heart becomes more like his - having his care for those who suffer, and his mercy on those who sin, and his courage in proclaiming his good news, the more easily we stay on the path of eternal life. The more we try to compromise, and do things independently from the gospel, especially with judgments and self-preserving limits on my heart's compassion and generosity, the more we stray from the path, the way to eternal life.

A central part of this journey is to not let our hearts be troubled. How can we possibly let go of some of the things that trouble us? By placing our lives in his hands, and fully trusting in his promise to accompany us all the time, not matter what we suffer or find difficult. He offers us a peace nothing else can offer us. He offers us a path to self-forgetful, self-sacrificing love that looks more and more like his. It is the path - the only path - to the eternal joy for which we were each created.

Most loving Jesus, thank you for your assurance, your promise of the gift of eternal life and for giving us your life's example as the way there. Heal my fears, my clinging to other securities, my angers and judgments. Let me put my complete trust in you so that I can be freer to love as you have loved me. I want to claim this as my deepest desire, each day, by your grace.

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