Thursday, May 19, 2011

Building blocks

Sunday, May 22, 2011
Fifth Sunday of Easter —A

Acts 6:1-7
1Peter 2:4-9
John 14:1-12

“Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” the Apostle Thomas asks Jesus in today’s Gospel. It is a prayer most of us have prayed at one time or another: “Lord, I don’t understand. What is going on, why is this happening, where is it taking me, what do you have in store for me? How can I know your will, your purpose in this? Help me to know.”

Jesus’ response is one of reassurance. In the previous chapter of John’s Gospel, he had encouraged his disciples through word and deed to love and serve one another in the face of betrayal, suffering, and persecution. He was speaking of his own impending death, but was also foretelling the trials his disciples would face—then and now. The Eternal Word of Christ resounds throughout history, and what he says is just as true for us as it was for his first disciples. “Do not let your hearts be troubled,” he says. “Have faith in me. I am the way, and the truth and the life.”

There is a point where we simply have to let go, and let God, as the popular saying goes. We are living stones, as St. Peter says, in God’s spiritual dwelling. God builds us up, and Christ is the cornerstone on which we are fastened. The trouble is that we often wish to do the building according to our own designs when God has other, better plans.

In faith, as God’s living stones, we must do what St. Peter urges: “Let yourselves be built into a spiritual house.” Not build, but be built. There is a difference.

We are the work of God, and in him we dwell.

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