I found myself pondering the promises Jesus makes to His disciples as I reflected on the readings for today. Jesus promised that after three days the Son of Man would rise again. And it happened. Jesus promised He would send His Spirit to come and dwell with the apostles. And it happened. Jesus promised if two or three gather in His name, there He is among them. And it happens still to this day.
Jesus made many promises. Even though the Gospels are full of examples of Jesus keeping those promises, still we might be tempted to wonder whether He will keep them for us. I’m reminded of a line from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The Beast is trying to figure out what gift to give Belle to show her her cares for her. Cogsworth suggests, “There’s the usual things: flowers, chocolates, promises you don’t intend to keep.”
How many of us have been let down by other humans? (I’m assuming we are all raising our hands.) We are each broken, flawed, and often failures. We intend to keep our promises, most of the time. As is often said when a promise goes unmet, “life happens, oh well.” We toss up our hands, chalk it up to good intentions that didn’t pan out, and move on.
We can be tempted to apply this same attitude to Jesus. Will He really keep His promise to always be with us, or is that just a metaphor? Does He really want an intimate friendship with us, or will He forget to show up like I do sometimes? Can I really give Jesus my every need and concern, is He actually interested in the same old sins and mess?
YES! Jesus proves over and over in the Gospels and beyond in the lives of the Saints that He does care, that He does provide, and He is always faithful.
In our Gospel today, we encounter another of Jesus’ promises. Jesus promises that there will be troubles. While at face value it might not sound very encouraging, it’s so important for us to fully grasp. Jesus knows there will be troubles. He knows the troubles. He knows your troubles today, your trials tomorrow, your sufferings in 20 years. He knows. And He promises more. If you take the courage He offers, you will see how He has conquered the world. All of those struggles and trials are to be used for a grander plan that involves Jesus’ reign over all creation. This is today’s promise. Do you believe it?
Kate Taliaferro is an Air Force wife and mother. She is blessed to be able to homeschool, bake bread and fold endless piles of laundry. When not planning a school day, writing a blog post or cooking pasta, Kate can be found curled up with a book or working with some kind of fiber craft. Kate blogs at DailyGraces.net.
Feature Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/berlin-cathedral-sculpture-3408348/