June 3, 2019

Gospel JN 16:29-33
The disciples said to Jesus,
“Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.”
Reflection:
The disciples said to Jesus,
“Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now?”
It is because Jesus speaks to the disciples directly and not in parables that they say to him, “Now you are speaking plainly…..Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
We can almost feel the loneliness of Jesus as He replies to the disciples in the form of a question, “Do you believe now?”
Knowing that His crucifixion lays immediately ahead, Jesus’ question has a wistful, haunting ring as if He was thinking, “I understand that you now think you believe, but you have not yet been tested.”
So He goes on to tell them, “Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone.”
Even before His death He knew His friends would “scatter.”
Yet, He had sympathy for them; He had already forgiven them.
The disciples appear much the same as young men who march off to war with a romantic idea of performing heroic deeds without any sense of the horror they are about to face. It’s as if Jesus feels He must forewarn the disciples of the reality of what is coming. Some may act heroically…others will flee in terror.
“But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.”
Jesus assures the disciples that they need not worry about Him, for He and the Father are One.
“I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.”
In their forthcoming persecution, the disciples will need courage to continue spreading the Good News of God’s love after Jesus is gone. So, He tells them to look to Him for their peace of heart and mind.
Even when facing His own death Jesus’ first concern is for the peace of others.
We too can take our courage and peace from Jesus for He has “overcome” this world.
“Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord!”
Psalm 31:24