We all have moments when our hearts our troubled, the kind that makes our guts churn, saps our resolve, and makes us turn inward.
We mess up. We fail. Like Peter, in the passage before today’s Gospel, we make lofty promises—“Lord, I will lay down my life for you”—only to fall short.
Or we look at what is going on around us—in our community, in our country, in the world—and we despair. We despair at our helplessness and powerlessness, at all that we know to be wrong but that is beyond us to rectify.
We are limited, fallible, frail creatures.
And that is why what Jesus says to us today is so important. “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (Jn 14:1). He promises to these limited, fallible, frail creatures a place with him in his Father’s house.
When someone says to you, “Don’t worry, no problem, it’ll be fine,” do you believe them? Do you believe this assurance was true? Or, like being told not to think about the pink elephant in the corner, do you end up focusing more and more on everything that troubles you?
The difference here is that God is speaking this assurance. It is God saying, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” It is God speaking. And when God speaks, God acts: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made. . . . For he spoke, and it came to pass” (Ps 33:6, 9). So when God says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled,” God is enacting it, making it real. Jesus tells us to believe in the Father, and to believe in him—and that this assurance is true.
God is always speaking to us—in word and image, relationship and experience, memory and imagination. God is always speaking to us, and it’s up to us to learn how to listen. What makes this word real to you? Amid all that troubles your heart—what makes you believe that peace and quietude are possible? How is God speaking this word of assurance into your heart? What makes God’s word real and true for you today?
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