An online message board asked: “Describe a time that contributed to your faith in God’s loving presence.” In response, one person wrote of caring for a dying friend; another spoke of struggling to raise two children after a painful divorce; and a third recalled nursing an elderly mother through a series of debilitating strokes.Each storyteller had learned to depend on the Lord for strength. Through faith, Jesus had replaced their fear with courage, and their anxiety with peace.
This was Jesus’ hope for his disciples in today’s gospel. Although they had just professed their belief in him, Jesus warned that they would soon abandon him at his crucifixion. Jesus knows how easy it is, when hardship strikes, for faith to be replaced by fear.
That’s why it’s important to cultivate our faith while things are going well. We can fill our days with prayer, count our blessings and give thanks to God; and be soaked in Scripture and sanctified by sacrament, so that when we face life’s inevitable difficulties, our faith will hold firm, instead of falling apart. We’ll know that when we can’t handle things on our own, we won’t have to, because Jesus is with us. This world will surely give us “trouble,” as Jesus said. But we can take courage, because he has “conquered the world.”
Readings for today’s Mass: http://www.usccb.org/nab/060611.shtml