Fr Billy Swan
Dear friends. In today’s Gospel, the context of Jesus’ words is the Last Supper on the night before he died. At that meal, he makes the stunning announcement to the apostles that he is about to leave them. The man they had followed, in whom they placed their hopes, was telling them that he was about to die. Understandably, on hearing this, their hearts were troubles and filled with fear. Knowing their faith would be severely tested, Jesus tried to prepare them for the ordeal. He said to them: ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still and trust in me’. In effect, Jesus was saying to them: ‘In the events about to unfold, your faith in me will seem misplaced. Your expectations will be shattered, your disappointment great and your suffering intense. Despite all of this, all I ask is that you continue to trust me’.
It’s easy to convince ourselves that we have strong faith when things go well. But when a crisis hits, we discover what kind of faith we have, if we have any faith at all. If our faith is no deeper than hoping that no storm will ever visit us then sooner or later it will fail. At times of crisis, we may feel that God has abandoned us. This was the crisis of the apostles at the Last Supper, that Jesus was about to leave them. But he promised that he was going away only for a while to prepare a place for them and that despite everything that was about to happen, he would return to be with them. The Lord was true to his word. With the resurrection, he emerged from death and despair to give hope to all. After his resurrection as before, he shows us the way, he reveals the truth and is our life.
Faith doesn’t mean that we will be spared from times of great trial. Real faith assures us that because of the resurrection, God has not abandoned us at times of hardship but leads us through those moments along the path that leads to better days. This doesn’t always mean that we feel better or get back to where we were before the crisis hit. Rather it means that because of our trust in the Lord we never lose hope because we believe in the ultimate triumph of truth, justice, goodness and life. This is our faith in the victory of the resurrection and our share of it. In the words of Julian of Norwich ‘All will be well in the manner that all will be well’.
In the meantime as we travel along the road of life and live through every day, we keep the gentle words of Jesus in our hearts who asks us to ‘trust in God still and trust in me’.
‘May you love be upon us O Lord as we place all our trust in You’.
‘Jesus, I trust in You!’