May 10; 5th Sunday of Easter - Good Shepherd Sunday; Year A

5th Easter 19 20Turn to Him if you are lost

Men often say that women get lost because they can’t read road maps. But women will have their revenge. Women say that men also get lost because they are too proud to ask for directions. They would rather trust themselves, remain lost, as they are too proud to admit that they have made a mistake.

Trust is in short supply these days. Can you blame anyone for their lack of trust? As the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns continue (even with some easing in the economic sector) with no definite end in sight, most of us are struggling with fear and anxiety about what the future holds.

Perhaps, the only thing we trust these days are our GPS navigating applications. All we have to do is to trust its direction, obey the instructions and turn right when we are told to so, or turn left in the next 100metres. And eventually we are told, ‘You have reached your destination.’

But there are times where we would even doubt the wisdom and accuracy of this technology especially when we are led to unfamiliar roads and asked to take strange and winding detours. Many would be tempted to just switch off the device and tune into their own instincts. We would prefer to chart our own direction, follow our familiar ‘tried and tested’ route, rather than trust a machine.

Today, our Lord tells us, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me.” Not easy during these trying times. But again, He is saying that we need to trust in Him because only He can lead us to the Father’s house. That’s our final destination. He tells His disciples that they know the way to get there. Their immediate reaction is puzzlement. We would be puzzled too. Jesus seems to be talking about a “way,” which they’ve never seen, never used nor ever heard of before.

Yet Christ reassures them that they do know the way. You see the “way” is not just any route or method, it is a person. For He tells them, ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.’ All they need to do is to trust Him and the directions which He is giving them. This is because our Lord is more trustworthy than the most reliable GPS.

Christ has revealed to us our destination and He is like a roadmap that shows us how to reach it. He shows us the way, not only through His life-giving teachings but also through His life - His incarnation, His passion, His death and His resurrection. If we want to get to our destination, we need only to step into His shoes and walk along the path which He has left for us, stay clear of all distracting detours which lead elsewhere, and resist the temptation of charting our own course. Those who believe that they have found a better way, a more reasonable route, a much easier and quicker path, will inevitably find themselves lost.

But there is more. Christ, as the Way, the Truth and the Life is more than just a roadmap to the Father. Even the best roadmap is merely a means to get us to a destination. Christ is also the destination. For He makes the Father visible. “To have seen me, is to have seen the Father.”

Many of us had plans, some big and ambitious ones, while others a bit humbler. We would have charted our own roadmap and set a timeline to achieve our goals. But this pandemic has disrupted everything and turned our entire lives topsy-turvy, because all of a sudden, there is a dead-drop, we find ourselves terribly lost, without a clear direction of what to do next or how we are to move forward.

Who can we turn to for direction in these difficult times? Well, many of us may have lost faith in the experts since many of their predictions have been proven wrong. In fact, we’ve lost our trust in science, since science with all its promise of being accurate and precise, has proven to be inaccurate. Still others have lost faith in the authorities because we’ve been lied to on countless occasions. And finally, many of us have lost faith in ourselves, in our own ability to handle this crisis. All our bluster and self-confidence seem to be misguided.

But let us never for a moment lose faith in God. This pandemic has brought us full circle to realise that the only One whom we can trust during this crisis is God, for only He who created this universe and is in total control of everything that happens therein will know what’s ahead of us. And if we want to navigate through this mess left in the trail of this pandemic, we need to listen to what His Son tells us, ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me.’ If there is nothing else left for you to trust, never fail to trust the Lord, for as the Psalmist acclaims, “for the word of the Lord is faithful and all His works are to be trusted.”