Saint Augustine,
Painted by Philippe de Champaigne (1602-1674)
Painted circa 1645,
Oil on Canvas
© Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Saint Augustine,
Painted by Philippe de Champaigne (1602-1674)
Painted circa 1645,
Oil on Canvas
© Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Gospel of 30 April 2021

Do not let your hearts be troubled

John 14:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples:

'Do not let your hearts be troubled.

Trust in God still, and trust in me.

There are many rooms in my Father's house;

if there were not, I should have told you.

I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me; so that where I am you may be too.

You know the way to the place where I am going.' Thomas said, 'Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?' Jesus said: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me.'

Reflection on the Painting

'Do not let your hearts be troubled' are the words of our reading today. Jesus knows our hearts and understands how restless our hearts are. From when we are young to the day we die, we are restless. When we are young, we are restless because we need to decide on what to study, how to build a career, start a family, etc…. When we are older, we may be restless as we wish we had done things differently. The restlessness is there at all stages in life. So Saint Augustine's (depicted in our painting) words,  'our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee', still resonate with us very much. 

Nothing in this world can fully satisfy us and give us rest. No matter how beautiful things are, how wonderful our families are, how good our friends are, however well off we may be… nothing can ever give us full rest. Only by dwelling in Christ and Him dwelling in us can we find peace. We see Christ depicted in our painting by Philippe de Champaigne, on Saint Augustine's vestments. Saint Augustine holds a burning heart in his left hand. It might depict the Sacred Heart of Jesus or it could even be Saint Augustine's own heart burning with fire. The flames of the burning heart are directed towards Saint Augustine's head, as if what is happening in that heart is impacting directly his brain and mind, unlocking the mysteries of knowledge and wisdom. 

Maybe if we look at our restlessness as being a precious indicator that we need to seek increasing closeness to Christ, then we can embrace that restlessness and let it be the driver for our growth in faith. 

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John 14: 27-31

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8 May 2020

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