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He Has Conquered

First Reading: Acts 19:1-8

While Apollos was in Corinth,
Paul traveled through the interior of the country
and down to Ephesus where he found some disciples.
He said to them,
“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?”
They answered him,
“We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
He said, “How were you baptized?”
They replied, “With the baptism of John.”
Paul then said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance,
telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him,
that is, in Jesus.”
When they heard this,
they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when Paul laid his hands on them,
the Holy Spirit came upon them,
and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
Altogether there were about twelve men.

He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly
with persuasive arguments about the Kingdom of God.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 68:2-3AB, 4-5ACD, 6-7AB

R. (33a) Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
God arises; his enemies are scattered,
and those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so are they driven;
as wax melts before the fire.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
But the just rejoice and exult before God;
they are glad and rejoice.
Sing to God, chant praise to his name;
whose name is the LORD.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
The father of orphans and the defender of widows
is God in his holy dwelling.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.

Gospel: 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.”

NAB

may 9

In the world you will have trouble,

but take courage, I have conquered the world.

I love this verse. It is so reassuring. Jesus says this at the end of the long teaching He gives in the Gospel according to Saint John right before His High Priestly prayer in John 17 (which I also love).

But what makes it more interesting is what He says right before that.

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.

His disciples declare their faith, and Jesus foretells that they will all abandon Him and be scattered each to his own home. But He wants them to have peace. In some ways this does not seem so different than the times in the Gospels when Jesus would teach His disciples and then send them out to preach. They would be scattered. And here before His death, He has taught them, and now again they will be scattered. After Pentecost, they all went out and preached and were scattered all over the world.

And again we, the Church, are each scattered to our own homes all over the face of the earth. We are a scattered people.  And just as Christ was not alone, and had His Father, so do we. We are not alone. Wherever we are in the world, we are Christ’s, for He has conquered the world.

Take courage, dear sisters. Let us all take courage. Take courage in the face of the daily tasks. Take courage to overcome the persistent sinful habits. Take courage in the face of persecution. Take courage when nothing is going right in the world.

There is nothing to fear from all the trouble we face, from our daily struggles to the moral decay of our society to the persecution of Christians at home and abroad to natural disasters to wars.

We will have trouble, but Christ has already conquered the world.

It is not easy to have courage in the face of our troubles, but let us not forget that Christ has already conquered. He will give us the courage we need. Where do you need more courage?

photo credit

Susanna Spencer once studied theology and philosophy, but now happily cares for her three adorable little girls, new baby boy, and her dear husband in Saint Paul. She loves beautiful liturgies, cooking delicious meals, baking amazing sweets, reading good books, raising her children, casually following baseball, and talking to her philosopher husband. You can find out more about her here.

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