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Jesus’ departure

Gospel Reading: 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.”

In John, the “world” has different connotations. It may mean the natural world created by God or humanity that lives in the world. But often, the world has a negative meaning—a world that is at enmity with God, a world ruled by the devil, and a world opposed to Jesus and his teaching. This last is the world that Jesus refers to when he tells his disciples, “In the world you will have trouble” (v 33b). Despite his miracles-signs showing that Jesus is from God, his detractors, who harden their hearts against him, see him only as a blasphemer, a Law-breaker, one who leads people astray. They even think that in seeking to kill Jesus, they give praise to God. Now, the faithful disciples share the fate of the Master, and later in persecuting them as well, their persecutors will think that they are doing the will of God.

But Jesus says, “Take courage, I have conquered the world” (v 33). Indeed, his enemies will succeed to have him put to death, but his death will be his vindication. He will rise again, which is the Father’s glorification of his Son. His death – the sign of his total love – also marks the defeat of the devil and the world that prefers darkness because its deeds are evil.

What are your fears?
What do you fear most?
Do you draw courage from
your faith in Jesus
who has conquered the world?

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.