V SUNDAY OF EASTER
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. couldn’t you stay in 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 here with you.»
«i know that, also, daddy. but i want someone with skin on.»
the little boy’s fear is similar to 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:
faith in GOD and his son is the first fear buster: «you believe in GOD, believe also in me.»
JESUS tells philip: «whoever has seen me has seen the father… i am in the father and the father is in me.» the second fear buster: in and through his son, GOD is with us, 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. when we find our place, we will not be troubled.
this does not mean there won’t be problems. 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 JESUS 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… and the church grew.
the little boy’s fear is similar to our own. problems assail us, the darkness of our nights frighten us… and we need someone—with skin on—by our side.
may you and i have faith in GOD, believe that he is with us in his son and people, and find our place in life.
«fear is the wrong use of imagination. it is anticipating the worst, not the best that can happen.»