May 25, 2020 (Monday) - The Conquerors - A Reflection on John 16:29-33

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!”

As I mentioned, there are a lot of people commentating on my posts, and I love reading them, because many of them contain some brilliant insights. A few days ago, there was a comment in response to my reflection, “Peace Be With You” (https://youtu.be/OpcJGw6pNOA). The person wrote: If we're in a plane that is going down, or in a boat that's about to sink, or if we are on a bed taking our last few gasps of breath and are yet calm in spirit — that is the peace of the Lord.

And I thought: spot on! But, the immediate question that arises is: How is it possible to remain calm in spirit when this is happening? I mean, come on, if your plane crashes or your boat sinks, it is not going to be a pleasant experience. So, how is it possible to be at peace when all this is going on? We get the answer in today’s reading. Jesus says the time for his Passion is coming, and all of them would run away like rats deserting a sinking ship, leaving him alone. But then he says, “Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me” (John 16:32)

Please take a moment to digest this, because it is important. We know what Jesus went through during his Passion — the scourging and the crowning with thorns and the rest of it — yet he was calm in spirit because his Father was with him. Now listen, when you read Father, think GOD! And then he tells the apostles that they would suffer persecution too. However, just as Jesus had peace because his Father was with him, they would have their peace because  Jesus was with them. Now, when you read Jesus, think GOD! And they did have peace. After all, GOD was with them. All of them went through some really bad stuff but they were calm through it all!

So now we come to us. Jesus has sent his Holy Spirit to be with us. Now, when you read Holy Spirit, what must you think? Yes, GOD!  So we are not alone either. We have GOD with us! Therefore, when Jesus says, “Take courage, I have conquered the world” (John 16:33), we should take courage. Because we are conquerors too. In his first epistle, John writes: “Little children, you are from God, and have conquered them; for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

So, don’t let anything beat you or get you down. Remember, “we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus,” something that Paul also tells us (see Romans 8:37. And there is a great reward to all of us who beat the world, because Jesus himself promises: “To the one who conquers I will give a place with me on my throne, just as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne” (Revelation 3:21).  If we can remember this, forget about boats and planes going down, the entire world can do down, and we will be at peace

We have God with us. So, take courage, conqueror!