May 13, 2017
We live in confusing times. There are mysteries we cannot answer, problems we cannot solve and situations that will never be agreeable. We are somehow in a song entitled: “LIKE A BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER.” For us Christians, despite all the evils and troubles around, Christ teaches that we must never lose faith. The scene is Jesus at the Last Supper, the eve of his darkest hour. And yet, despite knowing that the worst is about to occur, Jesus who is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” tells his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust in me” (Jn. 14, 1). We must convince ourselves that there is a provident God who continues to love and care for us but exacts vengeance on evil people in the end-time.
Christ’s words are, of course, very consoling and reassuring. But for many of us they don’t strike us as reassuring at all. We may even dismiss them as unrealistic. How can Jesus assure us not to be troubled? Does He not realize what’s happening around us? In our personal lives we have troubles with our work, our co-workers; troubles with our families; in marriage: parents have troubles with their children and children have troubles with their parents. We even have imaginary troubles. All of these upset our peace of mind.
Doesn’t Jesus realize all these problems? The answer is that He does know about them; that’s why his words are as relevant as they are consoling. Jesus knows about troubles because He himself experienced them. He had troubles with the Pharisees who kept criticizing him and watching closely his every move; troubles with his disciples some of whom were ambitious and slow to understand; fear of his impending death. Yet, in spite of all these, Jesus could still say with calmness: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God and faith in me."
The FAITH that Jesus recommends is not an escape from reality. Rather, it is a declaration that even if the worst does happen, we will not be destroyed by it. If we believe in his words, we have to convince ourselves that there is a provident God who continues to love and care for us. This faith, however, should not be fatalistic. It should not make us shy away from doing our responsibility. If you can solve your problems, by all means do it. But when there are situations beyond remedy, for the moment at least, for example, sudden death of loved one or accidents, then you just have to accept with patience and have to live with them. As the German theologian Reinhold Niehbur puts it prayerfully: “God, grant me SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, COURAGE to change the things I can change; and WISDOM to know the difference between both.” The Call to Discipleship: Catholics have a duty to be stewards of their Church: that community of disciples, that Body of Christ, of which they, individually and together, are the members, and in which “if one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share the joy” (1 Cor. 12:26).
The 5th Sunday of Easter is also MOTHER’S DAY! Please, pray for all mothers, living and dead especially for our own biological mothers. If you have mothers who are still living with special kind of characters, just understand them and have patience with them. Remember, if you lost your mother, you lost the BEST OF ALL. The other days of the week are optional memorials of Saints Isidore, John I and Bernardine of Siena. This is all for now. Watch for the next bulletin. God Bless You!
Your Priest –
Servant and Parochial Administrator,