Scripture: Lectionary 297. Acts 19:1-8. Psalm 68: 2-3,4-5.6-7. John 16:29-33:
Jesus is telling the apostles and us to “take courage” for he has overcome the world. This means he has accomplished the will of the Father by always saying “Yes” as he learned from his mother Mary. The world symbolizes the prince of darkness, (Satan), evil, sins, and death. Though we are stunned by his death and our hearts are troubled we continue to believe his words. The apostles, too, though they are scattered will come to their senses and be strengthened by the Holy Spirit who will not leave them. Fear will be overcome and courage will continue in their apostolic work of proclaiming the Resurrection and the Good News (Gospel) to all peoples.
Jesus has spoken of peace and told them and us that his peace is with us even though he leaves us for a short while. “My peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.” We are to remain in him and have that interior peace.
Jesus is now speaking in clear language and making sense to the apostles. He no longer continues his discourse in veiled language or symbolic phrases. The truth of his words enters into their hearts and heads. We, too, enjoy the clarity of Jesus through the gifts of the Holy Spirit which we receive at Baptism. These develop as we move through life on our spiritual journey with Jesus. The sacraments, the prayers, the liturgy guide us constantly on our way. Wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and reverence for the sacred are a few of the many gifts we enjoy through the indwelling of the Trinity within our hearts.
Jesus assures us that we are not alone; we are not orphans. Neither is he for he is always with the Father through the Holy Spirit. Even if we feel alone or isolated from others, the Spirit dwells within and we need to focus once again on the promises and the truth of all that Jesus has spoken. He has fulfilled the Scriptures. We need only to believe in him and ponder over and over again the words he has left us through the Gospels. Only by remembering what Jesus has revealed to us and by our fidelity to the sacraments and to prayer can we relieve the doubts, the loneliness, and the abandonment we sometimes feel. Jesus has told us, “Behold, I am with you all of the days even to the end.” Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.