Readings: Acts 6: 1-7; Psalm 33, Response: Lord, let your mercy be upon us as we place our trust in you.; 1 Peter 2: 4-9; Gospel: John 14: 1-14
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.” (John 14: 1) The opening lines in this Sunday’s Gospel speak to the depths of our heart now, calming it and setting it on fire again.
Since the second half of the past week, the Fourth Week of Easter, we began reading in our daily Masses from the Gospel of John that brings us back to the upper room, where the Last Supper was celebrated.
This time, though, we view it from the eyes of the Resurrection. We enter into the part of our liturgical season that we can also consider as the Risen Lord’s preparation of his Church to whom he will entrust his mission.
Two weeks from now, we will celebrate the Ascension and then the Pentecost, what many consider as the missioning of the Church and what is also considered the completion of the Paschal Mystery, the central mystery of our faith.
The Risen Lord now prepares his disciples, his apostles to whom he will entrust his mission. This carries greater significance for us now, as we, as the Church, as followers of the Risen Lord, prepare to renew the mission of the Church in a new world after this near worldwide lockdown and pandemic.
The Gospel assures us of very special graces. Jesus promises us that our faith in him and faith in the Father will overcome our fears and calm our anxieties. To this he adds a new horizon of our life which is eternity, the fullness of life in God’s Kingdom, the “home” to which he promises to bring us to. He will come back for us.
It is not simply a promise, but he also gives us the path to take. He himself took this path, the way he lived his life when he was here among us as human.
He lived by the truth of his authentic identity as the Beloved Son of God, and of his mission to heal a broken world and to bring humanity back to God.
He came and offered his life that we may have life, and life in abundance.
Then he makes a powerful assurance that our faith in him will empower us: “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.” (John 14: 12)
This is now the faith of the Resurrection. Not only does it make us overcome our fears and calm our anxieties, but it makes us the new missionaries here and now.
We are to bring the good news and the power of the Risen Lord’s mission in the way we will live our life, a life rooted and grounded in the truth that the power of the Risen Lord is with us to make all things new. It is a life that gives inspiration and renewed hope to others amid this crisis and pandemic.
In the coming weeks, we will continue to hear the words of the Lord in our daily Masses, words he spoke in his final discourse to his disciples, to the missionary Church.
We are the missionary Church. The Risen Lord invites us to place our faith in him, yes, in this present context of our world and the human family. He tells us once more: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.”
We must remember that he has traveled this path we are to take in healing our world and in making whole once more the human family, physically, communally, spiritually.
This is the future we face and the mission with which we will engage the future, to heal and make whole again.
We face the future and this mission with courage. Together we will rebuild, not with hearts troubled, but with hearts burning with faith, hope and love, graces we draw from the Lord’s assurance: “If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” (John 14: 14) —CONTRIBUTED