First Reading: Acts 13:26-33
When Paul came to Antioch in Pisidia, he said in the synagogue:“My brothers, children of the family of Abraham, and those others among you who are God-fearing, to us this word of salvation has been sent. The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize him, and by condemning him they fulfilled the oracles of the prophets that are read sabbath after sabbath. For even though they found no grounds for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him put to death, and when they had accomplished all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and placed him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. These are now his witnesses before the people. We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you that what God promised our fathers he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus, as it is written in the second psalm, “You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.”
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 2:6-7, 8-9, 10-11ab
You are my Son; this day I have begotten you. “I myself have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.” “Ask of me and I will give you the nations for an inheritance and the ends of the earth for your possession. You shall rule them with an iron rod; you shall shatter them like an earthen dish.” And now, O kings, give heed; take warning, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice before him; with trembling rejoice.
Gospel: John 14:1-6
Jesus said to his disciples: “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. Where I am going you know the way.” Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
This passage gives me so much peace. I often struggle with knowing exactly how to “do my part in getting back to Jesus.” I know that in the end, it’s not us, but Him, that brings us into Paradise. Yet, I feel like Martha . . . always busy trying to do more, to be more, to earn my way. Not only am I preoccupied with what I should or shouldn’t be doing, I’m worried if I made the right decision in every one of those moments.
But, He reminds us, so gently, that we need not be troubled. Even when His disciples question Him—how can we ever know the way?—He puts it so simply: “I am the way.”
It’s through Him, and only Him, that we will ever see the Father. Sometimes the lack of concrete “to-dos” can be unnerving, but this is where we must do all we know to do and cling ever-so-fiercely to Him—giving Him control as we give it up.
And for the days when we still question if we truly know the way to Him, Thomas Merton comes in with one of my favorite prayers:
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”
Lord Jesus, you are the way. Lead me closer to You.
Meditate on this prayer from Merton and have peace in your desire to please Him.
Britt Fisk is the wife of Jeremy and mother of four young kids. She spends her days living simply in the-middle-of-nowhere-New Mexico helping with the family beef cattle operation. You can find out more about her here.