The gospel today begins with the statement. Do not let your hearts be troubled. We need to highlight the context of this particular statement. It is the start of the conversation between Jesus and his disciples at the Last Supper. In a few hours from now, he would be undergoing an immense agony in the garden of gethsemane, a little later he would be undergoing excruciating humiliation and a painful death on the cross.
Yet, with this impending dangers, the lord is at peace within himself, he not only nurtures a peace within, he even assures this peace to his followers exhorting them. “do not be troubled”
What gave Jesus this tremendous power to have inner serenity and peace, in the face of the agonising trouble?
It was his relationship with His Abba… his heavenly father.
There is no person – king or pope in the world, without some manner of trouble. Trouble appears to one person now and to another later to pull them down. Some invite trouble unaware that it will accept the invitation every time. A lot of trouble in the world is caused by people trying to reform other people first.
As Christians, don’t we face immense pressures and difficulties in life? For example., Challenges to live an authentic Christian life in a the society, struggles to live a holy life in the midst of sinful tendencies, Challenges from the present global pandemic which causes dreadful deaths, challenges of unemployment, nervous breakdown, eviction – no place to go, break ups in family life, rejection and isolation and so on..
Apart from personal troubles, we are afflicted by national and international troubles. Perhaps all our troubles can be summed up in one-word fear.
It is beautifully said that the best reaction to trouble is that we take a calm and rational attitude to it, have a strong trust in our own inherent power to face it and move towards a constructive action in the belief that we are in God’s hands. It was this belief in God that Jesus was referring when he said, do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God and faith in me.
All of us need to belong and feel at home. All of us long for a haven of peace and rest, a kind of oasis where we can recover from the storms of life. Jesus in the gospel makes it clear that He was aware of this human longing.
What can give us power to have inner peace in the face of the agonising troubles? It is the prayer that can take us through the storms of life. It is surely our relationship with Jesus. It is the road map to Jesus.
For he is also the life of God. It is by his being present to us, and our being present to him we can deal with what we face, For he says ‘Believe in me,’ ‘Trust me,’.
Not to do so can be risky. For out there in our complex and difficult world, it’s just too easy to become puzzled, confused, and distracted, about the ultimate meaning of life and about our final destiny, and just too easy to get lost in all our searching and exploring of the meaning and purpose of life.
But this road, His road home, leads to peace, a fulfilling and satisfying peace, a peace that is unavailable in any other way!