Tuesday of Fifth Week of Easter
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
TUESDAY, May 4th Jn. 14: 27-31 Jesus said to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”
- How often are our hearts troubled and afraid? Jesus says, “My peace I give to you”; however, “Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” The world tries to make us forget our fears and troubles in worldly pleasures and distractions, which never work for long! Whereas Jesus can give us peace even in the midst of the storms of life.
HOPE AND TRUST IN OUR LOVING FATHER by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
We must have a firm, solid, and staunch faith and trust in God in all times, places and circumstances. If our faith and trust in God is never put to the test by the fire of trials and tribulations, then it usually does not grow. In nature, plants and trees that have weathered inclement climates of strong winds, raging tempests, rain, sleet and snow will be the most robust when future inclement weather descends.
Similarly, with the followers of Christ—trials, tribulations, afflictions, contradictions, sufferings, and setbacks can serve to fortify us and make our interior life robust.
In the midst of the turmoil and tempests that we all experience in life, we must fervently beg for hope and trust in God, now more than ever. It is proven in nature that in the middle of the tornado there is calm—in the eye of the hurricane there is peace. The storm can rage on the surface of the ocean, but in the depths of the sea there is calmness and tranquility. Likewise, this is how it should be in our personal spiritual life. A tendency towards laziness, complacency, and lukewarmness in our spiritual life can visit all of us. But God does not want tepid, mediocre followers. Quite the contrary, God most ardently desires fire, fervor and passion in our heart towards Him, and this generates peace and trust our soul and in our very being—the peace that passes understanding!
This being the scenario, what are some potent reasons for depositing our hope and trust in God?
1. GOD’S OMNIPRESENT PROVIDENTIAL CARE. Even in the midst of the most difficult situations that can exist in the world, God is always present. God never ceases to exist or be present to us in our need! Quite the contrary! Saint Paul, quoting the Greek poet states: “In God we live and move and have our being.” Jesus says that the Heavenly Father loves us so much that He has us in his loving hand, and nobody can snatch us from the loving hand of the Eternal Father. (Jn. 10:29)
2. GOD LOVES US AND PUTS US TO THE TEST. If God really loves us, which He does always, He puts us to the test, like Abram whose test was to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. (Gen. 22:2) Jesus tested Peter by sending him out into the lake with the other Apostles against their will. (Mt. 14:22-33) Then Jesus came walking on the waters and challenged Peter to come to Him! Leaving the comfort of the boat, Peter actually walked on the waters of Lake Galilee, at least for a short time, then he began to lose heart and to sink. Why did Peter sink? The response to that question is the response to our own many questions, doubts, and fears. Peter lifted his eyes from the eyes and the Person of Jesus—and immediately he began to sink! When we take our eyes off the Problem-Solver and focus our eyes on our problems instead, we too start to sink.
3. Again! Every time we focus on the problem instead of the Problem-solver—that is Jesus our Lord, God, and Savior, then we sink in the tumultuous waves of our own fears, doubts and insecurities. Therefore, in the midst of the many tempests and earthquakes that we experience—and there are often many—let us focus less on the problem and more on the Problem-solver: Jesus our Lord, God, and Savior!
LORD SAVE ME! As Peter was quickly sinking beneath the waves, he cried out: “Lord, save me!” Jesus stretched out his hand, gently rebuked Peter for his lack of faith, and lifted him out of the surging waves. What we often miss is that Peter once again walked on the water beside Jesus until they arrived at the boat. After which, the boat arrived safe and secure at the shore with speed and graceful ease!
Therefore, when it seems as if the world is caving in upon you from all sides and situations, then you must cry out with all of your heart, and with dauntless faith: LORD, SAVE ME!!! Then the gentle voice of Jesus will be heard in your heart, and His gentle but firm and loving Hand will save you from drowning in the surging waves of your many doubts, fears and insecurities. What a short but powerful prayer: LORD SAVE ME!
4. THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD, THERE IS NOTHING I SHALL LACK. (PSALM 23) Another enormous Lifesaver in the midst of the earthquakes, tornadoes, and storms of the human drama is the beautiful, consoling, comforting prayer Psalm 23— the Psalm of the Good Shepherd. Probably the most known and loved of all of the 150 Psalms, the Psalm of the Good Shepherd can prove to be a real Lifesaver! When you are cast into a deep state of desolation and life appears to be a dark, damp, dreary, endless and depressing tunnel, why not leave the tunnel and open your Bible to the passage of the Good Shepherd—Psalm 23. Very calmly, very slowly, very prayerfully read this passage, once, twice, or even three times. Allow this beautiful Psalm through spiritual osmosis penetrate, permeate and absorb your whole being. Allow one of the words or concepts to captivate and enthrall your heart; relish that word; repeat it and allow it to fill you with a peace and joy that surpasses all understanding! “The Lord is my Shepherd; there is nothing I shall lack.” Maybe these are the words that touch you most. With these words, there is no need to fear because the Good Shepherd takes me to green pastures and nourishes my soul.
5. MOTHER OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE. When surrounded by an atmosphere of gloom and doom, we must also lift up our eyes, our mind, and our heart to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Many are the encouraging titles for Mary, titles that can really lift our spirits: Mary is our life, our sweetness, and our hope; the Star of the Sea amidst the storms, the cause of our joy, the Gate to Heaven, Mother of hope and of consolation. Many more are the titles of Mary our Mother. However, why not turn to Mary in her Motherly, loving presence at the Wedding Feast of Cana. (Jn. 2:1-12) They run out of wine. The first to capture this embarrassing situation, Mary turns to Jesus. Then Mary says, “Do whatever He tells you!” Miracle! Water transformed into wine, and the best of wines through the power of Jesus, and the maternal presence of Mary and the power of her intercession. Therefore, in the midst of your fears, doubts, insecurities, sadness, and many questions, lift up your mind, your heart, and your soul to Mary. Beg her to turn to Jesus and ask Him to transform your water into the most splendid and exquisite wine. If you trust in Mary, it will indeed happen!
Copyright 2021 Oblates of the Virgin MARY, St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA