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Fr. Michael's Thoughts on Biblical Imagery: "Have Faith in Me"


(Fr Michael Boakye Yeboah: Vice Rector of St Gregory Seminary, Kumasi-Ghana)


            As I opened my laptop to write this weekend’s reflection, so many thoughts came to mind but chief among them all was: “why did Jesus had to strongly encourage his disciples to have faith in him?” When Jesus announced his departure, the Apostles, led by Thomas and Philip came to the “Teacher” about some worries of the group. It is not everybody who is a master of handling very well the news of the departure of family members, friends, and love ones. If the person is to depart temporarily and return later, it can be fine but if the person is departing to the “unknown” (the afterlife), then it can really be painful.

            In the situation that the disciples found themselves, the pain of departure was not only because Jesus was leaving them, but because of the fate that awaited them. The Jewish authorities have threatened the disciples of persecution once they have finished with their leader. The Resurrection restored their hope; even for those who had commenced their “return” to their respective professions and lives: Peter went back to fishing while Cleopas and an unnamed disciple returned back to their village in Emmaus to think of their “what is next?” It was the resurrection that brought them back to Jerusalem to plan for the Great Mandate (go to the whole world and proclaim the Good News).

            Now when Jesus told them that he was about to leave, they were in shock. Any apprentice will shiver and panic when he had not finish learning his trade and is given a major assignment to execute. The other day a man brought his sick son to the disciples to perform the “Jesus type of miracles” and they were a great failure and their short comings were met with disdain from the Teacher. Jesus complained vehemently and realized that there was still much work to be done before the disciples can go on a great mission. I will like to think that their training had not been completed when the Teacher was arrested and sentenced to be hanged on a tree.

            This unpreparedness may have influenced their displeasure when Jesus announced to them he was going to his Father. Unpreparedness is a ‘close sibling’ of depression and emotional seesawing. Jesus in his speech of hope and comfort, did not promise them that they will not be persecuted by those who hanged him on a tree but rather he assured them that he is going to prepare “rooms” for them in his Father’s house.

            Really? Philip was not satisfied with Jesus’ words and so he told Jesus, show us the Father and the house then we will be satisfied. The disciples were not pleased that they were being promised the gift of the unknown as danger and persecution loom. As hard as the message of Jesus was, it was the absolute truth.

            Human beings spend all their time and energy preparing to save themselves and remain comfortable on this planet. This I want to tell you; it is good and noble to do. In fact, after God has created the world he set man as the steward of the world. We who are making a lot of noise about the billions of dollars that has been invested to save our planet and to find a cure and vaccine for corona virus are the “main agents” destroying this beautiful common home of ours. Wasn’t the philosopher Hegel right when he said “we have found the enemy and it is us”.

            We have been hearing on the News how “powerful” world leaders are accusing one another as the architect of this pandemic – we voted you to office to protect us and not destroy us. And who are those “canonizing” the “prophetic” words of some past leaders that they predicted that in 5 years, there will be a pandemic like this; weren’t they in office when they were delivering those speeches? What did they do about it, if they truly knew? We need to place our absolute faith in the words of Jesus: “Have Faith in me.” Without Jesus, our leaders and scientists cannot help us. Jesus need to come to the assistance of our scientists so that they can find a cure or vaccine for this pandemic.

            I understand why Jesus did not give a message of comfort and peace to his disciples to cancel-out the impending persecution but rather he gave them a message that prepares them for a life in heaven. This world in all its beauty is passing away, at least this pandemic has taught some of us what is really essential in life. I pray for those who have lost love ones especially parents and grandparents; please have faith in Jesus. They have gone to a better place. At your leisure time, please listen to Ane Brun’s song “All my Tears.” Permit me to quote a few words in the song to you:


When I go don’t cry for me

In my Father’s arms I’ll be

The wounds this world left on my soul

Will all be healed and I’ll be whole

Sun and moon will be replaced with the light of Jesus face

And I will not be ashamed for my savior knows my name

It doesn’t matter where you bury me

I’ll be home and I’ll be free

It doesn’t matter anywhere I lay

All my tears be washed away

Gold and silver blind the eye

Temporary reaches light

Come and eat from heavens store

Come and drink and thirst no more

So weep not for me my friend when my time does end

For my life belongs to him who will raise the dead again

It doesn’t matter where you bury me

I’ll be home and I’ll be free

It doesn’t matter anywhere I lay

All my tears be washed away

All my tears be washed away.


May Jesus bring salvation to our world and restore us to our routines. Please have faith in Jesus, he will heal our world for us to live better lives before we join him in heaven. Our rooms have been prepared for us but there is no rush to go; let pray that our world will be fully healed.  


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