Acts 6:1-7; 1 Peter 2:4-9; John 14:1-12
A little boy was scared to sleep alone. He called out to his dad: “I’m scared. Please stay here with me.”
Dad said: “Son, nothing will happen to you. Mom and I are in the next room.”
“I know, Daddy. But I’m scared.”
“There’s no reason to be scared. God is there with you.”
“I know that, also, Daddy. But I want someone with skin on.”
The little boy’s fear is like the disciples’ fear. Jesus—their master, for whom they left everything—is leaving them. They are afraid to face the world alone; they fear staying in their “room” alone.
Jesus assures them that there is no need to be afraid and gives them three fear busters.
The first fear buster: faith in God and his Son. “You believe in God, believe also in me.”
The second fear buster: God is with us. Jesus tells Philip: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father… I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” In and through his Son, God is by our side, is present with skin on, is deeply involved in the events and crises of our world.
Jesus says: “I am going to prepare a place for you.” God has a special place for each one of us in the church and in the world. We need to find that place/mission/role. The third fear buster: finding our place and mission in life.
Does this mean we won’t have problems? No! The first reading describes the problems the fledgling church has in the food distribution system!
The fear busters help the church overcome this problem. Faith in God and the awareness of his presence with them keep the apostles from getting overwhelmed. They find their place and role in the church: the apostles focus on preaching; they appoint deacons to look after the administration.
The little boy’s fear is like our own. Problems assail us, the darkness of our “nights” frighten us. We need someone—with skin on—by our side.
Do I have faith in God? Do I believe that he is with me in his Son and in people? What am I doing to find my place in life?
May we hear the Lord say: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
By: Fr Dr Mascarenhas Vinod SDB