Friday May 11, 2001 Homily by Fr. Robert Altier Fourth Week of Easter
Reading (Acts 13:26-33) Gospel (St. John 14:1-6)
In the Gospel reading today, Our Lord tells His disciples something that is so important for all of us to hear, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God and faith in me." That is what we need to do. We get so worried, upset, and anxious about so many things. Yet the Lord is always right there, solid as a rock, telling us not to be worried.
He has absolutely everything in control. It is just us who do not, and we do not trust that He will actually take care of everything. We think that somehow we have to control it. If we do not do it, it is not going to happen the way that we want it to be done. But God has everything in control. What He will do always, is to do things to us in our lives that we cannot control to let us know we are not in control. The little things that we think that we can control, we try to. So in order to help us understand that we have to let go and trust, He takes the control away and we do not like that. We get very upset about it. We get very nervous about it. It doesn't feel good on the inside, which makes things all the more difficult for us and then we try all the harder to control. Sometimes we walk away from the Lord, because we do not like what He is doing to us. If we would just simply take His advice and not worry but trust. Give it over to Him. Trust Him completely.
Everything single thing that happens in our lives happens according to God's Providence, everything. There is not one tiny, little element of our lives that is not part of God's providence. No matter what it is, no matter how good or bad it may seem, everything is part of His providence for us, to make us saints, to help us truly to be holy. We simply need to come to Him, and give it to Him, and trust Him. On top of that He tells us, in His Father's house there are many mansions. So we especially do not need to be worried about our judgment. We need to be concerned in the sense that if we know there is mortal sin there that hasn't been confessed, we need to address it. But once that is done, we need to trust Him. We need to trust that He has in fact forgiven our sins, and that we are not going to have to deal with it on the day of judgment. We need to trust that He has and will fulfill His promises: that He has prepared a place for us; that He has gone before us; that He wants to take us with Him, so that where He is we also may be. As we look forward then, to the reality of death that each one of us will have to face we have no need to fear. All we need to do is to trust, because He has made the promise.
He has told us that we need to trust. So what we need to do is simply keep our eye on Him. He lays out why, because He says, "I am the way." He is the only way to heaven. He is the truth. All the other things that we get worried about are not necessarily truth, but He is. He is the fullness of truth. And He is life. All our worries and anxieties and everything else do not produce life in us but just the opposite effect. So if we keep our eye on Him and our heart on Him, not only will we be at peace because we will trust, but we will be on the way. We will have found the truth, which is the way that leads to life.
The only way that leads to life is truth, and Jesus is that truth.
St. Paul made that clear in the first reading as he laid out all the things that happened. How He fulfilled everything of the old commands and all the prophecies of the Old Testament. We see again the fulfillment of truth (not in the way that one would have thought it should happen), but in God's providence the way that was best, the most perfect. So it is in our lives too, if we would just trust. What is truly the best and the most perfect (not always the way we thought it should happen), but what is truly the best and the most perfect is what God will work in our lives. All we need to do is keep our hearts and our lives focused on Him, and trust. He will provide the peace. He will deal with us in the way that will help us to grow in holiness, the way that will make us saints, and the way that will lead us to that mansion He has prepared for us; if we will live the truth, if we will embrace the life, if we will walk the way. And the way, the truth, and the life is Jesus Christ.
Note: Father Altier does not prepare his homilies in advance, but relies solely upon the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.