In this morning’s first reading we are told that as Paul and Barnabas made their way back through the churches they had founded, ‘they put fresh heart into the disciples, encouraging them to persevere in the faith’. We all need encouragement, especially with regard to our faith and our relationship with the Lord. We need to keep putting fresh heart into each other, encouraging each other to persevere in the faith. That is what we find Jesus doing in the gospel reading.
It is the night of the last supper; the disciples are feeling discouraged. Jesus says to them, ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid’. He offers them the gift of his peace, a ‘peace the world cannot give’. He assures them that although he is leaving them, he will come back to them again in a very short while, through the Holy Spirit. He is actively engaged in putting fresh heart into the disciples. We can encourage each other, but the Lord himself is the great encourager. If we turn to him in confident prayer, he will help us to persevere in the faith. Amen.
Fr. John Peter