Today is Monday the 22nd of May, in the seventh week of Easter.
The community of Taizé sing, “We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.”
(Lyrics currently unavailable)
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of John.
His disciples said, ‘Yes, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure of speech! Now we know that you know all things, and do not need to have anyone question you; by this we believe that you came from God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe? The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!’
His disciples said [to Jesus], 'Now you are speaking plainly and not using veiled language. Now we see that you know everything and need not 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 -- indeed it has come already -- when you are going to 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 hardship, but be courageous: I have conquered the world.
Jesus ends this passage with an extraordinary claim – ‘I have conquered the world!’ These could be the words of a megalomaniac, but they’re the words of someone who knows that his closest friends will abandon him. He knows he will be alone, but his trust and courage lie in his deep union with his Father. How do you react to these words of Jesus?
What does conquering the world consist of, as meant by Jesus? He’s about to be stripped naked in public, flogged, humiliated and crucified, abandoned by those closest to him. Yet he offers his friends the same rootedness and confidence in God as he himself feels. Can you remember a time of trouble when you felt rooted in God’s presence?
As we listen again to the reading, notice what words stand out for you and why. Do Jesus’ words to his disciples at the Last Supper prompt particular feelings or responses in you?
Have you ever felt a deep confidence in God, despite the trials of life? Or is it a struggle to trust that God will never leave you? In either case, try and find words to say whatever is in your heart to God our loving Father.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.