Do not let your heart be troubled by Deacon Len

Friday, 4th week of Easter 05/08/20

Do not let your heart be troubled” = The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Today’s Gospel passage from John is very familiar to most of us.  We often hear it at funerals and it gives us encouragement in time of despair.  At funerals we come to realize that Jesus said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself”, so that we know our loved ones are in the presence of the Lord, and although we miss them, they are in heavenly peace.  This passage is very comforting in that time of despair and loss.

This passage, however, is also meant for us in any troubling time.  Jesus clearly tells us not to let our hearts be troubled.  We let our hearts be troubled when we can’t see the “way” to better days.  We can’t see the path to happiness.  We can’t see “how this will ever work out.”  It is at these very troubling times that Jesus tells us, just as he told Thomas, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”

I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve felt cornered.  I’ve felt there was no way out.  I’ve felt like, “well, I’ve really done it this time” or “why is this happening to me?”.  (Well, I COULD tell you, but this would be a much longer reflection😉) Each of those times in my life, when I not only prayed to the Lord, but I completely abandoned myself to Him, saying “let THY will be done”, things worked out to be better than I ever could have imagined.  They worked out better than if I had control of the situation.

The Lord DOES work in mysterious ways.  The Lord CAN make the most troubling situations evolve into joy, happiness and peace.  We just have to let Him.  We actually have to get out of the way, because HE is the WAY.  It’s only troubling and frustrating to us because WE are trying to fix it or rearrange it or cover it up.  We can’t fix the Lord’s plan.  We can’t rearrange His plan for us.  And, we can’t hide or cover up anything from Him.

No matter who you are, this pandemic is probably starting to wear on you.  Even if we started out trying to be positive and trying to “do our part”, it’s starting to get unsettling, to say the least.  At first, we might have thought it to be “temporary”.  We thought, well, “I can do this for a couple of weeks or even months”.  But now there is a feeling of no end in sight.  We’re being told that it’s not just going to go back to “normal” one day.  It’s going to take time and change.  We are not given a timetable, so there’s no end in sight.  Our hearts are troubled.

Friends, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  You have faith in God; have faith also in Me.”  I can’t claim to know how this is all going to work out.  I can’t even claim to know how you feel, or how difficult this is on you.  But I do know that if we trust in the Lord and listen to Him, He will show us the Way, the Truth and the Life.  He will not abandon us, even if we have abandoned Him.  We only need to get out of the way and stop trying to control what is not ours to control.

While the politicians are busy pointing fingers and blaming each other, we should be busy praising the Lord for His goodness and trusting in Him.  Every time we think about what we don’t have and what we are missing, we should block that thought with something we do have and something for which we are grateful.  After all, if we are disheartened by what we don’t have, doesn’t that mean that we have taken for granted all that He has given us?

I miss going out to a restaurant on a Friday night or a Sunday morning after mass.  But I am grateful for the quiet meals with my wife with no distractions.  I miss family gatherings for Easter, Mother’s Day, birthdays and other special occasions.  But I am grateful to have people in my life to celebrate and that I truly miss and love.  I miss being with each of you at mass and celebrating around the table of the Lord.  But I am grateful that The Lord brought us together in the first place.  I miss what I have become accustomed to in my daily life.  But I am grateful for all that The Lord has given me.  I have faith, hope and love.  I have faith in The Lord.  I have hope that what is to come is better than what we have now.  And the greatest of these is love.  I am grateful for His love, which I experience through all of you.

Easter Blessings and Peace to you, your families and friends.  And a very special Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers, Grandmothers, Great-Grandmothers, Godmothers, pseudo-mothers and all women who show us tender maternal love.

Deacon Len