Working with the Word
Focusing the Gospel
Key words and phrases: Do not ... be troubled, I am going, I am the way, know my Father, how can we know the way?, do the works
To the point: Jesus’ words in this gospel from the Last Supper discourse are reassuring ones: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” Yet Thomas and Philip, who hear Jesus also tell them that he is leaving, are not reassured and question him anxiously. The leap from the Jesus at the Last Supper to the Jesus after the resurrection is one giant step, one the disciples have not yet taken. But we have taken this leap. We are an Easter people. We have received the Holy Spirit who empowers us to know Jesus, through him to know the Father, and to do the works of Jesus. Believing this mitigates all troubles, all anxiety.
Connecting the Gospel …
… to Second Reading: Peter can confidently invite people to “Come to [Christ]” and name them “a people of [Christ’s] own” because he is writing from an Easter faith; he has encountered the risen Lord. He has made the leap that the troubled and anxious disciples in the gospel have not yet made.
… to experience: Being troubled and anxious is a fact of our stress-filled lives. “Do not be troubled” the surgeon says to someone before major surgery; “Do not be troubled” a parent says to a child wakened by a nightmare; “Do not be troubled” …The only way we can truly not be troubled.
**From Saint Louis University