Fr Nigel’s Homily: ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled’ – I had this Gospel reading for my Mother’s funeral and, as this is the Mother’s day weekend, I would like to remember her, as many of us remember our mothers who have passed away. When my mother passed away there was a deep sadness within me, a sadness that I had never felt before. For me, the world we lived in had lost some of its goodness. The person who gave so much and wanted so little, the person who loved unconditionally, the person who did so many things in the background to help others and never said a word about it, the person who was so willing and easily able to forgive was no longer with us.
As a son, a lot of emotions come up. What more could I have done? The many things I wanted to do for my mother in gratitude were no longer attainable. The messages of condolences, along with numerous stories of her kindness and helpfulness deepened the sorrow of the loss. We cannot go back in time, but we can do our best with the time we have.
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled’- For me, they are Jesus’ gentle words of reassurance. Not only did they help me at that time of grief, but I hear these words especially when there is uneasiness, when there is restlessness or anxiousness within me, or when I am contemplating making decisions that have a consequential effect on others.
Now even more than before, we need these simple words of reassurance and encouragement as we try to make sense of the events that are taking place around us. There is hope on the horizon with the easing of restrictions coming our way, but we have also had time to think and process what has been happening. We have to make some changes in our lives and it may trouble us as change often does.
All the readings this weekend provide us with hope. The first reading tells us not to neglect the Word of God. ‘The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly; even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.’ Encouraging words!
The Psalm too provides a calming re assurance that calls us to trust. “Lord Let your mercy be on us as we place our trust in you.”
The Second Reading ends with You are a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Wonderful Light!
Centred on Christ, we will be all right! Jesus says ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.” I remember the words from the ‘Imitation of Christ’ by Thomas a Kempis: Without the way, there is no going; without the truth, there is no knowing; without the life, there is no living.