Sunday, November 25, 2018

     “…His disciples said, ‘Ah, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure! Now we know that you know all things, and need none to 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, every man to his home, and will leave me alone; yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’” (Jn 16: 29-33)


     When the Lord says to His disciples, and through them to all of us, that “in the world” we will have “tribulation,” He means also the “tribulation” that comes through their own, and our own, sins and mistakes. Because He says this right after He foretells our betrayal of Him: “…you will be scattered, every man to his home, and leave me alone…” And yet, He reassures all of us of peace. Not in ourselves, flawed as we are, but in Him: “I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace.” And He adds, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”


     So let me not be discouraged, on my own, with my failings and betrayals of Christ. Today I come before Him, in heartfelt prayer and confession, not as one flawless or righteous, but as a sinner with flaws and betrayals, about which He knows everything before I even demonstrate them. Today I open myself up, in honesty, to a Lord Who knows and forgives me, as I approach Him, not with any pretense of righteousness, but the way I am, and in the “good cheer” of repentance. “I have not come to call the righteous,” He says to me today, “but sinners, to repentance.” (Lk 5: 32)

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