Today’s readings continue the "work" of the Easter Season – that of deepening our faith in the Risen One, Jesus. In the Gospel Reading, taken from St. John, Peter gives voice to the confession of faith, " Lord, to whom else shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God." Peter’s words capture the fire of faith that has burned in the hearts of martyrs and mystics. This is the same faith of the holy ones whose lives we so admire, of our personal heroes, our admired family members, and the church’s official ‘saints’. These men and women, living human lives like Peter’s and like ours, found in the work and words of Jesus a key to help solve the riddles of existence, to navigate the storms of mind and spirit that life can sometimes stir up. Through faith in the Risen One, the victor over sin and death, a new Light shines within the human experience. This light, faith’s gift to us, has a way of clarifying difficult or puzzling situations, of illuminating the shadowy parts of the human heart, of revealing the hard-to-find path that leads to joy and contentment, of penetrating the fog and gloom of despair and meaninglessness. For this is the light that shone from the empty tomb, a tomb not powerful enough to resist the life-giving power of the Father’s love and goodness. May Peter’s conviction and deep faith engender the same in us as we ponder the wondrous mystery of the Risen One, the everlasting Word of Life.
Fr. Jim Thoman, C.P. is the director of St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat Center, Detroit, Michigan.