‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Outside, swirling in the streets of Jerusalem, violence, raging will, repressed disappointment, and fear; distract the knot of women and simple men who gathered for the Passover meal. They drew close to Jesus, the messianic carpenter-rabbi they had followed for the last three years, waiting to hear what was next. Only a week earlier, the celebratory entrance into Jerusalem seemed filled with promise. Yet, now, gathered around the Passover table, the collective mood was one of sorrow and dread. It was out of their control; something had gone terribly wrong, and the approaching hours held only free-form catastrophe.
They waited for Jesus to give them comfortable words and calm the storm, as he had so many times before.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled...” He began. Ahhh, at last,here comes the grace-fix.
But Jesus does not offer his followers a miraculous passage out of the terrifying moment. Instead, he offers the promise of a homecoming to a place of infinite love and peace, where he has prepared a place for each of us, by name. Moreover, he promises to fetch us and show us the way, because He is The Way. Jesus offers us his peace IN the strife, in the form of his pierced hand, leading us to unimaginable rest beyond.
Like the fishermen Peter, John, James, and Andrew, we are more comfortable with stars and way-points to mark the way. Like Thomas, we sometimes do not hear the simplicity of Jesus’ promise. We seek a painless passage around the fray, or even worse, we seek God’s help in exercising our will in the struggle. The adage, “Be careful what you pray for” does not so much caution us that we may get what we pray for, but that we may miss that which God has already given us: His outstretched hand.
-Marsden L. Moran, Meditation
Musical Reflection - They Cast Their Nets in Galilee - Hymn Factory
Lord Jesus, give me the confidence to accept "what is" today, knowing that you are steadfast with open heart and arms outstretched. Amen.