MAY 17. EASTER. Wk 7. Mon. Jn.16 29-33
His disciples said to Jesus, ‘Now you are speaking plainly and not using metaphors! Now we see that you know everything, and do not have to wait for questions to be put into words; because of this we believe that you came from God.’
Jesus answered them:
‘Do you believe at last?
Listen; the time will come – in fact it has come already –
when you will be scattered,
each going his own way and leaving me alone.
And yet I am not alone,
because the Father is with me.
I have told you all this
so that you may find peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but be brave: I have conquered the world.’
In pondering this Gospel, we need to go back to Sat. 15 May to understand what preceded the text, where Jesus is giving his final discourse to his disciples prior to his Passion and he said “I came from the Father, into the world; - and now I leave the world; - to go to the Father!”
So, in this reading his disciples replied to him by saying; - ‘We believe you came from God!’
But Jesus was aware that their Faith was feeble, and they really still had so much to learn, and this became apparent on Calvary where nearly everybody had abandoned him. This situation is not irrelevant to us today; - in that we are quick to say, ‘We believe you are the Son of God’ but we say it without really understanding what is involved or what our Faith demands.
It is very easy to say “I believe”, and especially when we still have much to learn about what our Faith requires, because it allows us to profess our Faith without being really conscious of its demands, and his disciples bore witness to this today. While they are saying “I believe”, they clearly have no understanding of the need for the Cross, or for self-denial and suffering, aspects that are central to the Faith that Jesus had spent so much time proclaiming.
And sadly, in today’s “modern” and “secular” world we can easily be guilty of this same misunderstanding; - which results in a “Faith” that bears little resemblance to the one Christ proclaims; - with the main “misunderstanding” being related to Christ’s teaching that his followers must also embrace both suffering and the Cross!
In the twenty-first century one of the tragedies as regards the Catholic Faith is we have lost a sense of “sin” and how it involves our rejection of God’s Love and the offence it causes the Trinity. We are living in a time when “sin” (the offending of our Creator) is seen as almost non-existent, and evidence of this is plain to see in the way Confession is now seen as “out of day” and old fashioned?
In such circumstances it is easy for Christians to profess; - “We believe you came from God!’ as the Faith they believe in has little resemblance to the Faith that was proclaimed by Christ.
It is easy to proclaim our Faith, especially if both the Cross and the Will of God are removed!
The Lord, who hung for us upon the tree,
has risen from the tomb.