Homily for 5th Sunday of Easter (Year A)
May 10, 2020 (Mother’s Day)
Sacred Heart, EGF – Sunday 9:30 AM (Live-stream during COVID-19)
Focus: Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Function: Turn to Jesus.
How could their hearts not be troubled?
Jesus himself was troubled.
“One of you will betray me”
“I will be with you only a little while longer”
“[Simon Peter], before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.”
It was dark. Indeed, as the gospel tells us, “it was night.”
How could their hearts not be troubled? And yet, there is it. John 14 has Jesus telling his disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
Yes, it is night.
Yes, my hour has come – the hour of darkness – the hour when Evil will seemingly have its way.
And yet…I have overcome the world. My mission is being fulfilled.
This is the way to conquer sin and death.
I am the way, the truth, the life.
First the gibbet, then the glory.
So, do not let your hearts be troubled.
Do not let your hearts be troubled because:
I go to prepare a place for you.
I will come and take you to myself.
I will not leave you orphans.
I will come to you. I will come to you with my Spirit, that where I am, you also may be.
How could their hearts not be troubled?
Yet, in another sense:
How COULD their hearts be troubled?
Jesus had already done the impossible. In the chapters of John’s gospel leading up today, the disciples have seen Jesus feed the 5,000. He has healed the man born blind. He has raised Lazarus from the dead.
Jesus was in control.
Jesus was God.
He knew what was going to happen.
Today, Jesus tells the disciples that there will be suffering.
He also tells them that they, and he, will come through it.
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
You need not know how we will get through this. Simply believe in me. I did not come to show you a way. I am the way.
I will do it.
I will lead you.
Just believe in me. I will come to you.
And he does.
And today, where he is, they are.
How could our hearts not be troubled?
We are weary. We are anxious.
We do not know the timeline. The uncertainty is perhaps the worst part. When will it end? No one knows.
We are presented with conflicting information and conflicting advice.
What are we to make of it? Who are we to trust? We may not know.
But we do know one thing.
We know that the words which Jesus spoke to the apostles then are the same words that he speaks to us today:
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in me. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Believe in me. Remain in me.
I will lead you through this.
You need not have all the answers. I am the answer.
Brothers and sisters, these are dark days. It is night.
It is night but we have the promise:
We have the promise that the Dawn from on high will break upon us.
The sun will rise in the East to scatter the darkness
because the Son has risen from the grave.
He has come back.
He has not left us orphans.
He has sent us his Spirit.
His Spirit lives within us.
His Love has conquered death.
He is faithful.
He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
He is with us, and he will lead us through this.
And that is enough. It is more than enough.
A mother’s love and presence has the power to calm the troubled heart of her child. A mother’s embrace soothes the pain of stubbed toes and scraped knees, leading her child through the pain.
How much more does the promise and presence of Jesus’ love and lordship
conquer and cast out our fear and fretfulness?
Today we celebrate Mother’s Day.
As we honor our own mothers, we remember Christ’s mother.
We remember that humble handmaid who faced uncertainty and the unknown.
The appearance of an angel with a message.
The boy Jesus disappearing.
How can this be?
Her trust in God was unfailing.
Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to your word.
May she who was his mother
and who is our mother,
embrace us with her maternal care
and calm our troubled hearts
so that we might have the strength to endure the pains of growing up,
as Christ leads us through the dark of night and into the dawning of eternal day.