The Greek word “tarasso” means to agitate, trouble, as with water. Is my heart agitated? Do I know how to trust?
Just one verse each day.
The Gospel for this Sunday is John 14:1-12
1. A word of introduction
Jesus gives his disciples very important advice before leaving for the Father’s house. It happens in the Upper Room, that is, before his passion and death. He wants to strengthen the disciples before this difficult experience. Jesus’ words are also relevant for us today.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.”
Literally translating from the original Greek, Jesus says: “Let not your heart be stirred up into turmoil.” The Greek word “tarasso” means to agitate, trouble, as with water. It may seem that Jesus’ departure will shatter the lives of the disciples who follow him. Fear and confusion are natural in such situations. Jesus points to the possibility of overcoming fear and anxiety by abiding in faith in God and in Him, even though He is leaving for the Father.
“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.”
The goal of Christ’s journey is the Father’s house. This is also the goal of the disciples’ life path. It is attainable through Jesus.
The word “house” (Greek “oikia”) is something very close to every person. In the Jewish environment, the longing for home is even more pronounced, since the Israelites lived for many years on the way to the Promised Land and lived in tents, not in houses. Jesus assures the disciples that God has prepared a home for them, which is also his home. Experiencing home in community with God is possible for believers right now. It takes place in the community of the Church. However, it will reach its fullness in the Father’s house.
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.”
Jesus did not tell Thomas that He would show the disciples the way. Instead, He said that He is the way. He did not promise them that He would teach them some truth. He said that He Himself is the truth. Jesus did not reveal to His disciples the secrets of life. He said that He is the life.
Thomas á Kempis reflected, speaking as if with Jesus’ voice: “Without the way there is no going; without the truth there is no knowing; without the life there is no living. I am the way which thou must follow; the truth in which thou must believe; the life for which thou must hope.”
How do I act when I experience anxiety? To what extent is my faith in God a help to me in difficulties and hardships? Do I turn to Jesus – the Way, the Truth and the Life – when I wander, am lost, confused, and don’t know what to think, or when I lack strength?