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Friday, May 8, 2020

Reflection 2020-05-08 Friday 4th Week of Easter

Acts 13:26-33; Psalm 2; John 14:1-6
The Gospel today is the start of the Priestly prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper. He precedes his prayer with three commands:
  1. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Jesus knew he was going to be arrested that night and be killed the next day. He commands his disciples not to be troubled, to have peace, which he gave in Chapter 13.
  2. Believe in God. This is how we keep our hearts from being troubled: believe in God. This belief as I’ve been saying goes beyond believing God exists. It means to trust God. One small trivia is the word translated as believe, faith and trust come from the same Greek word. To believe in God then is to trust in God. To have faith in God is to trust in God.
  3. Believe also in me. When we trust God, we trust Jesus because Jesus said I am the way, and the truth and the life. The only way to know God as Father is through Jesus. The way to the Father is not a physical road. The truth about the Father and about everything is not an idea. Life is not this life we have. All these: the way, the truth and the life are a Person, whose name is Jesus.
Jesus did not say I am a way, a truth and a life. He was very specific when he said I am THE way, and THE truth and THE life because there is no other way to the Father, no other truth about the Father and no other life than the one given by Jesus!
Many people today believe Jesus is one of the many ways to the Father, that there are many truths and life can be achieved outside of Jesus. This contradicts what Jesus said. St Paul gives us the reason why people, even those who claim to know God, say this when he said The residents of Jerusalem and their leaders:
  1. Did not recognize Jesus. The word translated as recognize literally means not knowing, with knowing meaning, exercise the mind. They immediately made their judgment about Jesus without even thinking.
  2. Or understand the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. This is a sad fact, that these experts of Scripture did not understand the words they knew by heart.
This happened because they had their own ideas of the Messiah, of how God should act. They put God in a box and since God did not do as they expected, and since Jesus did not tickle their ears, they refused to recognize him. They made their decision because Jesus did not conform to their ideas and expectations. But Isaiah 64 tells us when you shall do wonderful things, we shall not bear them. God does things we do not expect because he is beyond our expectations and our imagination! He is God whom no one has heard nor perceived with the ears, no eyes has seen. Jesus said if this is not true, he will tell us.
Which is why Jesus commands his disciples to not let their hearts be troubled and to trust the Father and him. Reality is not based on what we see, or feel, or think. Reality is based on the speech of God who created the heavens and the earth by his Word.
The readings today are very applicable to our situation today. When this pandemic has destroyed our lives, our dreams and hopes, Jesus calls us to not be troubled. Isaiah 64:1 tells us when God comes, the mountains melt before him. Our world will crumble. But this is a sign, God is here. He is taking what was destroyed to build something new. But he can only do this, when we allow him. Do you want to see God work miracles in your life? Do you want to see wonderful things, beyond your imagination and expectation. Recognize Jesus and understand Scripture. Trust in God. Trust in Jesus. Come to Jesus. He is the only Way. He is the only Truth. He is the only Life. Nothing else compares with it.
O Lord, you command us to not be troubled, to trust your Father and to trust you. I take hold of that promise that you prepare a place for me. Help me to trust you. Help me to believe you have a plan for me, that is greater than my imagination. Reveal yourself to me so I will recognize you. And if my heart is stubborn, Lord, I give you freedom to give me a heart of flesh, so I may surrender my life to you.

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