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6TH SUNDAY OF EASTER: LET NOT YOUR HEARTS BE TROUBLED

Date: May 20, 2022/Comments: 0

Two men embarked on a journey through life. As they travelled along, they picked up stones and put them into their sacks. While one was able to travel faster, the other could not because he was impeded by his heavy burden. After what seemed like a very long while, he called out to his friend and asked how he was able to get along in life despite picking up these stones of worry. His friend replied that he indeed picked up the stones but as the other would have observed, he put the bag behind instead of in front of him. Whenever he picked up a stone, he put it into the bag which also had a hole at the bottom. As such, he always travelled light.

The Apostles were successful because they strongly believed that the Holy Spirit plays an important role in the life of the Church. Hence, we can see the Spirit of God as one of order not division. The action of the Spirit made it possible for them to place their priorities in the right order and put the salvation of souls first before their gain. This resulted in the peaceful co-existence between Jews and Gentiles. The reason for this strong belief in the guiding role of the Holy Spirit is to be found in the Gospel reading.

The disciples were worried about the fact that Jesus would leave them soon, but he promised to send the Advocate who would teach them everything. He assured them that the Advocate would be with them to teach them and remind them of all that they had learnt from him. For us to benefit from this same promise of Christ there is the need for us to recognise and co-operate with the Holy Spirit. We can readily attain this by opening our hearts to receive Him through prayer and meditation on the Word of God.

The same Holy Spirit that guided the Early Church is at work in our hearts even if we are not aware of him. He prompts us to be good and guides us to make the right decisions at very crucial moments. He also strengthens us to accept trials and difficulties for the sake of Christ.

The actions of the Holy Spirit paved the way for peace to reign in our hearts and our community.

“Peace I bequeath to you, my peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you”. (Jn 14:27)

Jesus speaks of the peace that goes beyond the absence of war and conflict between people and nations; peace that transcends maintaining a balance of powers between two adversaries. He speaks of harmony with God; peace, that safeguards human rights, free communication among people, respect for human dignity and truly treating others as brothers and sisters. The peace that Jesus speaks of here gives rise to wellbeing, rest, contentment, certainty, success, and perseverance in trying times due to confidence in God.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.” After all, many drops of muddy water will only make up a muddy river and many troubled hearts would only make up a troubled human race. Worry, fear, and anxiety exist where there is no peace. Is there anything that is bothering you now; something that seems to repeat itself in your mind like a broken record? Whatever the cause of your worry is, be assured that it will not last a lifetime. Ask yourself if the present challenge will still bother you in five, ten, fifteen or twenty days, months or years. So calm down and allow God to take control.

Take out time to ease the stress that has accumulated by visiting Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament or praying the psalms. Some helpful psalms include 4, 29, 34, 35, 37, 72, 116, 122 and 125; pray the Rosary slowly and meditatively or listen to Christian music, Classical music (Mozart, Bach or Beethoven) or any other music with a calm disposition. You may choose to go for a walk or drive to a recreation spot, just sit there and enjoy the breeze or go to a place where you will be completely free from the noise of modern living. These would help you to appreciate the power of God to heal our minds and bodies through nature and music. Do not say that you do not have the time because the means of relaxation are far less expensive than the series of tests and medication that would be prescribed to treat the negative effects of stress.

Let us look to a brighter future for as long as we have life, there is hope and if we have Jesus, there will always be peace in our hearts.

May the peace of Christ, which surpasses all human understanding, find a place in our hearts. We ask this through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray:

Slow us down, Lord, when we seem overwhelmed by the speed and stress of daily living. Help us to cast our worries at your feet and allow you take control of our lives. May our trust in you grow daily that we may enjoy the peace that you alone can give. May God bless every member of the Ascension Family, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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