In the Gospel for today’s Mass (B Cycle) we hear Jesus at prayer as he ponders the difficult and painful days just ahead of him. It is now the hour for the Son of Man to be glorified, that is to say, be crucified. Jesus saw it as his glory, that he give his life for us and show the world that he loves the Father. And yet he knows he is heading for a painful time.
There are some difficult truths evident in this Gospel that, if we can accept them will set us free. One of the sources of stress for us in life is that we often have unrealistic expectations of what this life should be. A more ancient description of life describes it as a “valley of tears” and teaches us to long for heaven. Today however, with a higher standard of living, most of us have come to expect that life should be comfortable and happy. When it is not we get resentful and anxious. But the truth is that we are not in paradise and sorrows and difficulties are a frequent part of life. Simply accepting this fact is a great source of peace.
In the homily today I explored, “Five Hard Truths that Will Set You Free.” The five truths are not original to me. I first heard them from the Franciscan Theologian Richard Rohr. Here they are:
- Life is hard
- Your life is not about you
- You are not in control
- You are not that important
- You are going to die.
I took these principles and related them to Jesus’ words in the Gospel today. As I have said, they are hard sayings but, if you are willing to accept them they are a source of peace since they help us gain a more humble perspective on life. That done, our egos are less wounded by the disappointments and sorrows of life.
If you care to listen to the Homily it is here: Five Hard Truths that Will Set You Free (32 Minutes)
At the end of the Homily I reference an old Gospel Hymn “Beams of Heaven.” If you’d like to hear it, then it is here below in the video. The refrain is: I do not know how long ’twill be, nor what the future holds for me. But this I know, If Jesus leads me, I shall get home some day!