The Gospel, according to John (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 Peace? Or the World?
What did Jesus tell His disciples in today’s Gospel, that produced the “peace” of which He spoke?
The words spoken by Jesus throughout His Last Supper Sermon, and in today’s Gospel are meant to give the disciples, and us, “courage” and the ability to conquer the trouble imposed upon us by the world.
Throughout Jesus’ sermon, He especially points to the unity He has with His Father and the fact that if we stay united with Jesus, we will also be united to the Father. He spoke of Himself being the vine and us the branches who must remain firmly attached to Jesus. He spoke of this being possible only by the coming power of the Holy Spirit Whom He will send. And He spoke of the hatred that the world has for all who remain firmly grounded in the Truth.
Therefore, if you are one who seeks to remain deeply rooted in Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, and separated from the deceptions of the secular and un-Christian world, then Jesus is clearly speaking to you. In today’s Gospel, He said.
“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.” John 16:33
In this passage, Jesus identifies one gift that will help us on our journey here on earth.
This gift is the gift of His peace. A peace that can provide us the ability to remain calm and focused during any and every “trouble” we encounter.
The trouble that we Christians will especially face are the various persecutions of the world when we live in accord with the Truth. And though there are many moral truths presented clearly by our faith that the world attacks, there are also other forms of troubles we will encounter within the world today.
One of the most obvious troubles inflicted upon many by the world comes in the form of constant visual, hearing, and mental stimulation.
Our world is a noisy world. Modern electronics, the mass media, commercials, radio, Internet, social mediaand so many other parts of our daily life have an elusive effect of distracting us, stimulating us, and stealing away the peace of Christ.
For example, a few years ago, I attended a three-and-a-half-day retreat called, Cursillo. Right at the beginning, the retreat leader had us turn off our cellphone, tablet, and any other electronic device we might have. And there was not going to be any television or outside contact for the entire retreat. I did not take that well. It was difficult and I even went through a form of withdrawal. And the reason for this is that the “peace” of which Jesus speaks is slowly decreasing in the lives of many.
Instead of God’s peace, we are filled with constant noise, commotion, activities, and chaos. This is the “world” attacking us and stealing the peace God wants to give to us.
In today’s daily living, many people, including myself, need to make less; Do! Do! Do! And make more; Be! Be! Be! Sit still, hear His gentle voice, and follow Him to the place of silent repose found only in Him.
ACTION FOR THE DAY
Reflect upon the interior battle that may take place within you between the world and the peace of Christ. Who is winning that battle for your soul? Is there more of the world or more of the peace of Christ reigning within you? Seek out the peace that only Jesus gives, and, as you discover His peace, you will also discover the source of that peace: Jesus Himself.