They will put you out of the synagogues (ἀποσυναγώγους ποιήσουσιν ὑμᾶς); but the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them. I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your benefit (συμφέρει ὑμῖν) that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Comforter (ὁ παράκλητος) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (Jn 16: 2-7)

On the one hand, the followers of Christ were going to lose their previous support-system and sense of belonging, because they were going to be “put out of,” or made outsiders of, their own synagogues. This painful exclusion from the faith-communities of their upbringing was the equivalent of the disciples being “killed,” or losing their life as they heretofore knew it. But “whoever kills you,” says the Lord, “will think he is offering service to God.”

On the other hand, a new “support-system” is coming. He is the “Comforter,” or the “Para-kletos” (from the Greek words “para,” to the side of, and “kalein,” to call), which literally means the One “called to the side of” us. So, regardless of how “put out” or excluded I might sometimes be, as a result of following my vocation, or God’s voice in my life, there is One Who comes, again and again, to my side, when I don’t block Him out. “Come and abide” in me today, O Lord, that I not make myself an outsider to You.

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