Rev. John Kha Tran

On a plane flying to Rome the pilot announced over the intercom: We have a little trouble. We have lost one of the four engines. But there is no need to worry, we will be arriving Rome only 1 hour later than anticipated. 

Thirty minutes later the pilot alerted: We have lost another engine; we will be arriving 2 hours later at our Rome destination.

One hour later he announced again: We have lost our third engine, and now we have only one engine running, but please not to worry, we will be arriving only 4 hours late at our destination. Everyone in the airplane became nervous.

An old lady seating in the middle of the aircraft began shaking and crying, “Oh! I am going to die! I am going to die! We are all going to die!” 

The flight attendant came over to reassure her, “Mam, don’t worry; our pilot has many years of experience. He will bring us safely to our destination. Beside, look! We have four Cardinals flying with us! We are OK.”

The old lady responded, “At this moment, I would rather have 4 engines and none Cardinal at all.

“Do let your heart be troubled. Have faith in God and have faith in me” (Jn 14:1).

Troubles in Our Life

Life doesn’t always go smoothly for all of us. Suffering and troubles are part of life. It is just not possible not to see the sufferings that are happening in this world. There are troubles in life. Sometimes we bring troubles upon ourselves. Other times troubles just come our way. We feel troubled when someone we know and love dearly has died. A friend has been diagnosed with cancer. Our friends have lost their jobs. Others are lonely and depressed, and we feel helpless to help them. We experience different kinds of trouble. The economy is still not doing well. Unemployment rate is still high. Gasoline price continues to go up. People are losing their jobs and houses. Here in Katy, the KISD has announced that it is cutting jobs on teachers and school programs. Presidential candidates for 2012 have begun to surface. Some politicians have announced their candidacies. They are telling us that almost everything is going wrong with our nation. The national debt is hitting the ceiling. Medicare program is running out of money. A group of Christians in California believe that this Saturday May 21st is the judgment day.

Heavy thunderstorms have poured across many regions of our country. Rising spring waters have overflown to Mississippi River. So much flooding that many people have been forced to flee their homes. Thousands of people have lost all what they have. Adding insult to injury some have been put under water by the deliberate flooding of less populated areas to safeguard the survival of the larger cities. There are unjust and imbalanced distributions of wealth between the rich and the poor. This is not just the modern problems.    

Trouble in the Christian Community

The first reading is telling us that there is trouble in the early Christian community as well. The Hellenists complain against the Hebrews because their widows are being neglected. It is not right for the disciples to neglect the word of God to serve at table. So they decide to select good men from the community to serve the people of God at the table.

In the Gospel reading, the disciples are troubled when Jesus tells them that He is going to leave them. They have left everything behind to follow Him. They have left their houses, their families, their friends, their professions to follow Jesus, hoping that he would give them a position in his new kingdom. He has done some good works and wonders, but there is no sign of the new kingdom; then he is talking about leaving them. Thomas is frustrated, “Master, we do not know where you are going, how we can know the way?”

Jesus is telling us that the only way to overcome troubles in life is to have faith in God and have faith also in Jesus...

Have Faith in God and in Jesus

The words of Jesus to his disciples as well as to us today give us a sense of trust, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God and have also faith in me.”

The trouble we encounter in life is always an opportunity for us to put our trust in God. When Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled, he means that we have a choice to make. We can choose to stay in troubled or to stay out of it. Not many people can make this choice. To let our hearts be troubled means to allow ourselves to stay in the worldly expectations of life. Jesus is telling us to liberate our hearts from the world expectations, and to lift our hearts to heavenly hope.

There are many dwelling places waiting for us in heaven. Jesus is going away to prepare a place for us. He is coming back to take us to the Father with him. We are going to be with him where we belongs. Jesus’ words give us courage and strength. For example, when things are troublesome, I go to pray in the chapel before the Blessed Sacrament to remind myself that Jesus is here with me. When we come together to celebrate the Mass and receive the Holy Eucharist, Jesus is intimately with us. We believe that Jesus is God; He is our Savior; He is here with us; and we are following him the way, the truth and the life, there should be nothing to fear.

Josh Ferrin closed on his family’s first home. He picked up the keys earlier this week and decided to check out the house in the Salt Lake City suburb of Bountiful. He was excited to finally have a place his family could call their own. As he walked into the garage, a piece of cloth that clung to an attic door caught his eye. He opened the hatch and climbed up the ladder, then pulled out a metal box that looked like a World War II ammunition case. He found 8 boxes all stuffed full with tightly wound rolls of cash bundled together with more than $40,000. He thought about how such a large sum of money could go a long way, pay bills, and buy things he never thought he could afford. He said, “I am not perfect, and I wish I could say there was never any doubt in my mind. We knew we had to give it back, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t think about our car in need of repairs, how we would love to adopt a child and aren’t able to do that right now, or fix up our outdate house that we just bought. But the money wasn’t ours to keep and I don’t believe you get a chance very often to do something radically honest, to do something ridiculously awesome for someone else, and that is a lesson I hope to teach my children.” He thought about the home’s previous owner, Arnold Bangerter, who died in November and left the house to his children, and called one of Bangerter’s sons with the news and returned the money to them. (Salt Lake City, May 20th, 2011).