In this Sunday’s gospel, John 14:1-14, Jesus says to his anxious disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.” The remedy to anxiety, per Jesus, is faith. If, by faith, we are joined to God, then faith brings peace, and peace, of course, evacuates anxiety. By faith, we are at home (“In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places”), and are thus secure. “Peace be with you”, Jesus says repeatedly. In other words, “Welcome home.”
I cannot insist enough that we have the gift of faith—even when we doubt. I know that I must sound like a broken record! As my favourite seminary professor would say, “You don’t lose your faith like you lose your car keys!” The gifts of God are irrevocable.
When anxious, exercise the gift: “Lord, I believe in you.” Keep doing so, no matter what, no matter what feelings may or may not precede or follow. It is not a matter of feelings. St. Augustine tells us that wanting to believe is to believe. It is that simple. It is that accessible.
Speaking of faith, allow me to quote four big friends of it:
To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.
~St. Thomas Aquinas (+1274)
I believe though I do not comprehend, and I hold by faith what I cannot grasp with the mind. ~St. Bernard of Clairvaux (+1153)
Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.
~St. Augustine (+430)
It is because of faith that we exchange the present for the future.
~St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen (+1622)
Yours in our Risen Lord,
From the desk of the Rector