‘Do not let your hearts be troubled’ (Jn 14:1). These words open the gospel for this Sunday. Of course, our hearts are going to be troubled. This is part of our human nature and being ‘troubled’ will happen over and over again for many reasons and for reasons that we often don’t even understand. Still the Divine voice tells us ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled’. If we are receptive to receiving this voice what effect does it have upon us? The troubling situation may not have changed, but what about our heart? Do we not feel a little lighter? Whatever is troubling us is put into a larger horizon: the horizon that we are never alone…God is with us…and it is this reality that this gospel is encouraging us to remember and to lean on.
“…They hear his voice”; “…They recognize his voice”…and they follow. For the Fourth Sunday of Easter the gospel reading is from St. John’s gospel on the theme of the ‘Good Shepherd’ (Jn 10:1-10).
This is Divine Mercy Sunday, and it is the Second Sunday of Easter. This gospel is always given for the Eucharist following Easter. It describes two encounters: the first is the appearance of Jesus to the disciples where he first says, ‘peace be with you’, then he shows his wounds, finally he breathes his own Spirit upon them and sends them out with the gospel message of ‘forgiveness’.
Jesus’ death is torture for me!
I prefer his life to his death....
While he was alive,
he brought only three dead persons back to life.
Now, thanks to his death,
all the dead come back to life,
and trample me
as they rush out through the gates of hell.
The 4th- century monk-poet St Ephrem the Syrian puts these words of grievance into the mouth of Death personified. Death is finally aggrieved! Alleluia!
On Holy Thursday, Sr. Kathy opened the Triduum with a chapter talk for our reflection:
What is the horizon of the mind and heart of Jesus? How would you describe it? What is the horizon of the Christian faith? These questions come into central focus on this Holy Thursday which opens the Triduum. Foundational to Christian faith is love, the primacy of love, the love of God fully revealed in Christ.
Read the entire chapter talk
We hold these words of Fr. Simeon in our hearts as we journey as church toward Easter Sunday:
"Today the Bridegroom of the Church and of each of our souls is taken away from our embrace. He continues to speak his love to us, but only in the language of silence and absence. We hold our breath, suspend our thoughts, and learn how to wait in the silence of adoration. Sorrowful as it is, the vivid scene of compassion that closes the gospel narrative of the Passion comes as a welcome mantle of serenity descending on the horror of Golgotha..."
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled’ (Jn 14...
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