Tawny Thanh, a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in Bolivia, reflects on Jesus's words of comfort from today's gospel.
In the gospel today, Jesus reassures us, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be."
Another powerful image Jesus gives us to describe our relationship with him is of a branch and a vine. We are that closely connected to Jesus – as a branch to its vine. The only way we can bear fruit, or live, is to remain connected with him.
In our lives, we know the many things which threaten that connection. At times, we can really feel like we are withering, cut off from the real source of our life.
Especially at this time, when the world is trying to recover from many months of turmoil. Never before in human history has a tiny virus affected the whole world. It has taken so many lives.
On this Sunday of Mother’s Day, we can especially keep in mind the mothers, young and old, who have passed away from the virus without their children with them. We believe that Jesus is with these women in their last moments to comfort them, to take their hands and say, “Where I am, you also will be.”
On this day, we all remember our own mothers. We pray for both the living and the dead. If they are living, that they are strong and healthy at this time. If passed away, that their souls are resting in eternal peace.
Many of us are still confined in lockdown for our own safety and that of our neighbors. The words of this week’s psalm can resonate deeply:
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises. Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
We ask for the grace to remain in Jesus and to let him remain in us, so that we can bear fruit in our own way and in this time. “Remain in me as I remain in you” (John 15: 4).