Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Acts of the Apostles 19:1-8, Psalm 68:2-7, & John 16:29-33
Do we have to suffer in this world? Can't it be just a bit easier for us? I know that You tell us in today's Gospel, "You will suffer in this world," and it makes us uneasy. Our lives are difficult. Some families don't quite get along; our marriages are more challenging than we expected, and our children push us away. The Coronavirus Pandemic is still a threat; social unrest, violence, war, and so much more that causes us to worry.
Where are You in all of this? Where are You in the lives of people who are so poor that they have little food to sustain themselves? What about those who are being persecuted or prevented from practicing their faith? I can't bear to watch the daily news broadcasts from around the world.
However, there is something else that you told us today. You instruct us to "Take courage!" which prompts me to remember that you care about me—about each one of us, in a profoundly personal way. You tell us that we will find peace, and we want so much to believe. We want to believe in You, but we don't want to hand over control of our lives. We want to be independent, not relying on anyone else—even You. Therefore, we continue in our life's struggles, certain that we can go it alone until we become aware of the pain, all over again.
Lord, how can we ever get through this? We can never do it alone! In our suffering, we turn to You more deeply. We give up trying to be in total control of our lives, and we remember that You are here for us, loving us in our sadness and pain.
We are so much like the disciples in today's Gospel, reassuring You that we are going to be fine, we get Your message, and we are finally back in control. You are always there for us, opening Your arms again and again for our desperate return. You know that after we cry, after we unburden and seek peace in You, we will inevitably wander off again, once more "in control."
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your faithfulness to us. Thank you for caring, for being here for us—always. In You, we find peace, our souls, and our imperfect selves. Please help us to remain here, in the peace of your incredibly loving embrace.
Question of the Day: How will you ask Jesus for help in the troubled world in which we live?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, grant that I may always be Your helper. Let me serve You with absolute faithfulness. Amen.