Jesus speaks words of comfort. In doing so he tells us the secret of living with God. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith in me too.” Eileen Wirth in her Creighton Daily Reflection for today says that life is a mystery. In the sixties we often said that life is a mystery and not a problem to be solved. All the technology in the world will not solve the mysteries of living in an evolving world. Metaphorically, the place Jesus is preparing for us is a place where we come to wisdom, where we come to “understand” life in all its dimensions. Wirth concludes:
My wish for all of us today is that whether we are in a wonderful place in life or suffering through an awful episode or illness, that we will have the faith to let go and to let God. It’s hard to surrender control but, as today’s Gospel tells us, the only way to live is by faith. (http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/042613.html)
The Buddha released from the sheltered security of the royal palace came to understand suffering. He realized that attachment is the root cause of suffering. Our goal in life then is to let go and let God. We cannot manipulate reality by prayer as it is traditionally understood. Supplication and petitionary prayer is often for our will rather than the will of God. In effect, all we can do is place ourselves in the presence of the Presence on a regular basis as life flows toward the Omega Point. Technological advances may alleviate some suffering but they will never eliminate all suffering.
Jesus took suffering to a new level. Submitting to the will of Abba, Jesus embraced the cross to show us the way. He did not pay a debt for our sins. He nonviolently accepted what was happening to him because he dared to challenge the vicissitudes of empire and state religion. When we live and preach justice for everyone including the least among us, we enter the heart of authentic living. Suffering through rejection and humiliation leads to resurrected life.
In the wake of chemical weapons unleashed in Syria, drone attacks in Afghanistan, mad bombers in Boston, and a fertilizer plants explosion in West, Texas, we need to hear Jesus’ words. How often did he tell his followers “Do not be afraid?” I will be with you all days and I am preparing a place for you. Jesus is preparing our places now. Freed from fear we can go deep into our true selves, our authentic place in God’s presence. The admonition to lay aside fear is an invitation to come into our true selves, to become our faces before we were born. Our deepest reality is wisdom, not the stuff of technology. Our deepest reality is resting trustfully in God while we navigate the highways and lowways of life.
In his reflection for today, Richard Rohr reminds us that the incarnation began 14.7 billion years ago. The universes teach us about the Cosmic Christ. Through the power of the Spirit of the Risen Cosmic Christ the incarnation flares forth at every moment. The Creator is in charge of all that is happening and fortunately the Creator is a God of detail—all things work together for good for each and every one of us. All things not some things.
Julian of Norwich assures us that all is well and all will be well.
In the meantime, our staring point into deeper union with the Creator is to not let our hearts be troubled. Events in the neighborhood, the community, the church, the company, the city, the state, the nation, and the world should not trouble us. Yes, creation is groaning toward completion. Our focus is not on joy, pain or suffering. Rather, we are centered in the Risen Christ. Our faith in the Risen Christ girds us for the journey whether we are joyful or sad, happy or dejected. Amid the suffering and groaning we are centered in the promise of the Risen Christ. I AM preparing a place for you.