Maybe it’s because soon Greg, my hubby, and I will be closer to a complete empty nest. Our twins are transferring to larger colleges this fall. Maybe it’s because there are postings of young moms finding themselves suddenly pregnant again and feeling shocked; that today’s Gospel: “Peace be with you” hit home hard.
All the readings of today focus on trust: Trust of ourselves and our ability to overcome, to make it all work, to find support. In the first reading, the early church trusted each other enough to share all of life with each other. In the second reading, God gives us the power to victory over “the world”: concerns, worry, need, emotional/spiritual struggles. This is made possible by trusting that because Jesus is beloved of God so we are beloved as well. Finally, there is Thomas whose trust begins because his doubts are dispelled by his interaction with Jesus.
Comparing my experience of being a new Mom and now an empty nester, you can see how similar these experiences to each other and the readings. Sudden new motherhood and the emptying of the nest, causes an unbalance emotionally and spiritually. That unbalance causes distrust. Your world is turning upside down, and what you thought was going to be the future is no longer true. God’s new calling feel unnatural, difficult. You feel inadequate to the new challenge. God knows you better than you know yourself.
You need time in the new role just as Thomas needed time to experience Jesus, to learn more about his risen Lord. Just as in the first reading we need to rally around ourselves the community that loves and supports us. We need to take victory over our fear. Using all of this will help us trust that God will be there as our roles change, and we change with them.