In today’s first reading we see the beginnings of the work of the early Christian church. A problem had arisen and some of the widows were being overlooked and not receiving any food. At a meeting, the twelve disciples decided that spreading the word of God was paramount and if they were to take on the added responsibility of feeding the needy they would have less time to do so. The community decided to elect seven men ‘of good reputation’ who were presented to the Apostles, they prayed over and laid their hands on them in blessing. This was the beginning of the Diaconate as we know it today.
John’s gospel today was meant to bring a note of comfort and hope to the Christian community at that time. They were under pressure and felt frightened, vulnerable and had concerns for their personal safety. Jesus gives the disciples words of encouragement when he says ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still and trust in me’.
The words of John are intended to offer comfort, reassurance and hope to those listening. We can all experience times in life when our world is thrown into disarray with the sudden death of a loved one, an illness or life altering experience. But if we trust in the Lord, believe that he is ‘the way, the truth and the life’ then we will know that he never abandons us especially in those times of crisis in faith.