Holyrood Church 715 West 179 Street, Upper West side Manhattan, USA, 212-923-3770

Is faith a challenge for me?

Reading: “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied.  “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. John 16: 31-32.
Good morning, happy Monday, and many blessings my dear family.
In the Gospel reading for today (John 16:29-33), Jesus continues to prepare the disciples for His departure from them and from this world. The disciples believe that they completely understand what Jesus is talking about. Jesus asks them: “Do you truly believe?”
Jesus then predicts that the time will come when they will be so afraid that they will scatter and desert him. Despite their protests, Jesus knows that ultimately he will end up alone. His disciples do not have a clue about what will happen. They truly believe that they will never desert Jesus. Yet, when the time comes and the threat is dire, most of them scatter.
Jesus knows his disciples well.  He knows and believes that they truly do love him.  Jesus has no doubt about that.  However, he also understands that they are human and when the threat becomes serious and possibly lethal, they will flee.  The gift for Jesus is that despite all that will happen, Jesus is at peace.  Jesus has the Father and Jesus deeply trusts and knows that His Father will never leave him.
We certainly cannot accuse Jesus of tricking us into following him. Elsewhere he speaks of carrying our cross every day and following him, here he speaks of the persecution his followers will face. I should not be surprised if living the Gospel entails some difficulties. I pray for those who are suffering serious persecution, even danger to their very lives.
Yet Jesus also makes an equally strong statement: Take courage: I have overcome the world. He does not say, I will overcome the world, but I have already overcome it! And he invites me to share in the fruits of this victory.
Do we believe that God our Father/Mother will never leave us?  In the midst of turmoil, do we have some peace and assurance that we will come through this situation, believing that God is with us?  If we are able to trust in God’s presence with us, this belief will strengthen us and thus enable us to know and understand that we are never alone.
Today I talk to Jesus about my fears, whatever they may be, and I ask him to give me faith in his power to overcome all of them. Jesus wants us to have peace. Peace is a small, six-letter word, but the gift of peace is indescribable and invaluable.  If we truly desire peace, Jesus will gift us with this special grace.  Will we ask for this gift?
Is faith a challenge for me? In what way? Do I feel in good company among the disciples who are “slow learners”? Is there a sense in which faith is always “beyond!” Beyond what I know, what I can imagine or even hope for?

Date news: 
Monday, May 30, 2022 - 09:30

Ministry at the time of Coronavirus (Covid 19): Prevent, cure and accompany

Now we have to shape what some have started calling; The Church at Home. Although I keep asking myself; What do those who do not have a home do? For this reason, at the same time, I am declaring today in our Holyrood Church a Lenten day of prayer, fasting and reading the Bible in the Time of the Coronavirus.

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