God’s shaking the Church to awaken the Church to his glorious, beloved Son. When the Church is captivated by Jesus, many things we worry about, the angst we walk around with each day, shrink, and He increases.
The Church is a bride, and the Lord is the bridegroom. Human history is about the Father working in the Spirit to present his Son a prepared bride.
This moment is a time not just to get through, but to go deeper into Him. This is a great grace that the Lord is ready to give, and He’s giving it in many places. At the Last Supper, when Jesus was preparing them for what was about to happen, He said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled, but believe in God and believe also in me” (Jn 14:1).
Living faith—radical trust in Jesus and his promises—is the solution for a troubled heart. In John 14, He knows difficulty is on the horizon. He’s not pretending there’s not trouble, and he’s not scolding them because they shouldn’t be worried about it. He’s saying, I want you to believe in Me, trust in Me, abandon yourself to Me. If you do that, I’m going to be able to give you something to replace that troubled heart.
Then He says, “I’m going to prepare a place for you” (Jn 14:3). Part of faith is living with the realization, conviction, and confidence that the King is going to specifically prepare a place for you. He’s beginning to teach the apostles that circumstances in this life can be difficult—but you don’t have to worry about them. We’re human beings—we’re anxious about everything most of the time. Jesus is saying, “I’m going to bring you out of that condition that’s under the dominion of fear of death and sin. I’m going to bring you to my life. You’re going to be in this world but not of this world.”
St. Francis described the beginning of his ministry by saying, “The Lord brought me to the lepers, and they made me sick. Then, Jesus made them sweet for me.” At first, St. Francis was totally repulsed by the small, the stench, the sin, everything—but then Jesus said, “Let me show you how I love them.”
And Francis went and lived among them and kissed them, and loved them, and washed their feet. Isn’t that amazing?
We can have so much more in this world than we know, and it begins with us laying hold of it in faith and declaring it. How much do we declare what isn’t working, and our troubles and difficulties, instead of being like Psalm 107:2: “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!”
We are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb! It’s important to speak it, because that is the truth. We often speak about circumstances and difficulties, but they’re just circumstantial. They’re not the fundamental truth.
At the end of John 14, Jesus says: “My peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. “
He’s given us something that will enable us to live through troubled times—power to live differently. We can bear his yoke when we know who we are and what He’s done for us.
I’ve been on a real journey during Covid. The Lord showed me how troubled my own heart was—how much of a burden I was carrying and how much He wanted to help me. He says, “Abide in Me, draw near to Me, let Me be close.” The angst and the weight of Covid during our serious lockdown was a hard burden to carry. I struggled, and for a number of months, I couldn’t sleep well. My mind would start going. I felt the weight. I felt my anxiety.
I asked the Lord, “Why am I experiencing this?” He said, “Peter, because so much of your life is still in your hands, and you don’t yet fully love Me. I know you love Me, and I love the little baby steps you make in that direction, because I remember them all. Even when you give a cup of cold water to someone, it touches my heart. But I’m dead serious about you and my bride. I want her to be free, I want her to be radiant, so the world can be saved. A frightened, troubled, anxious, angry, confused Church is not going to reach the lost.” And Jesus’ heart is broken for the lost.
That’s why in this Covid year, Jesus said, “Come closer to Me. I need you to pay attention to Me: be on alert, come to Me, and let Me mature and purify you.” This time of trial for the Church and the world will lead to a time of grace for the Church and glory and an outpouring of the Spirit for millions of souls. He needs us to be prepared. He needs us to trust Him—to receive this moment of grace and believe.