“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

“Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” (John 14:1-4).

So many of us are too familiar with worry and anxiety—about today, about tomorrow, and even about eternity. So often, if we pay attention, the bible tells us that we are not to worry. Jesus tells us repeatedly that we are not to be afraid. I am sure many of us can still hear Saint John Paul’s voice as he consoled us, “Be not afraid!”

Worry is a funny thing. It sneaks up behind you when you least expect it, sometimes it overwhelms you. If you or someone you love has experienced panic attacks, you know how debilitating anxiety and worry can be. And that is anything, but funny.

There is another way that anxiety manifests itself. Whether it stays just below the surface and negatively influences decision-making, or makes itself a bit more visible and affects one’s confidence, a persistent worry can rob you of peace and limit your living of life. Such worry can impact your family, your job, even your faith.

I met a man many years ago who was convinced that he had sinned so badly and for such a long time, that he was beyond mercy. I tried to reassure him that no one is beyond the mercy of God, but worry and doubt were strong. On one occasion, I quoted the above passage to him and a glimmer of light broke through. We continued reading. When he heard the doubts and uncertainty expressed by the Lord’s Apostles, my friend became even more at ease. The good news is that he made a good sacramental confession and rediscovered the peace that only the Lord can give.

Is it any wonder that the above passage is so often selected for the funeral liturgy? Jesus loves us and he has not left us alone. He will come back for each of us. He is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).

Be at Peace! Christ is risen!

Deacon Bickerstaff is available to speak at your parish or event. Be sure to check out his Speaker Page to learn more. Into the Deep is a regular feature of the The Integrated Catholic Life™.

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