For audio version: https://youtu.be/xrtStme1i9k
Prepare to Listen. Today’s passage is a familiar one. In silence prepare to put aside what you think you know, so that you read it with the attitude of a beginner and learner; see these verses as if for the first time.
Prayerfully Read John 14:1-7
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ 5Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ 6Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.” Jesus’ reassuring words, in some ways are ominous. They suggest there’s a reason to be troubled and so we begin to feel afraid. Let’s face it, we’re living in troubled times—a relentless global pandemic persists and gets worse; political divisiveness; growth of violent radical groups, including Christian ones; global warming; and our own personal issues that trouble us. Jesus’ words, don’t be troubled or shaken, aren’t a denial of the very real stuff around that troubles us. Of course, our hearts will be shaken. Accept that, but also follow Jesus’ command, “Believe in God, believe also in me.”
Believing doesn’t make trouble miraculously disappear or our understanding less dull. We believe because only then will we see God, not in the sense that we see another human before us, but in the same way we see light, or rather we don’t see light but only what light reveals. So too we can’t see or visualize God, as Tomáš Halík argues, adding, “Even faith does not ‘show’ him. With faith all I can do is ‘see’ the world ‘in God’” . We see God’s presence in the world because of Jesus and we know we can continue to live in relationship with this God we can’t see, touch or feel. Believe in God, not the god you think you understand (that’s not God), but the God who is beyond your comprehension but not beyond your reach.
As you read with the mind of a beginner, what new insights did you see? What comfort did you experience for these troubled times?
Respond to Jesus
Lord, you know my mind is often troubled these days. Increase my capacity to believe so that I see the world in you today and stay in peace. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world. Don’t be troubled; do be faithful.
 Halík, Tomáš. I Want You to Be. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2016, p. 24.
Reflection on Scripture has been a constant in my life ever since I can remember. Reflecting on Jesus in the Gospels has become a necessity to get Jesus right. Join me in reading John to see Jesus more clearly this Lent.