First Reading: Acts 19:1-8; Psalm: 68. R. v. 33a; Gospel: Jn 16:29-33
JESUS KNOWS HOW VERY FRAGILE WE ARE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Jesus was very good at using parables and images in speaking to his disciples about the kingdom of God. Like the image of a shepherd, a vine, and of a woman in childbirth. It appears his disciples felt puzzled whenever his spoke in this manner. Their reaction in today’s gospel proves this. They 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.” They said this because Jesus suddenly began to speak to them in plain language about the Father and no longer in figures. At this, they claimed to have reached an understanding of all that Jesus taught and to have reached faith in him.
Even upon their claim of understanding and believing Jesus, Jesus saw how very fragile they were. Jesus’ hour of suffering would prove this. They will all be scattered. None of them will be bold enough to stand by Jesus. It is always easy to profess faith in God than standing faithful when the challenges of faith confront us. Jesus knows how very fragile we are even when we cannot see it. He knows how humanly passionate we can be about the things of God though spiritually weak. He sees it all.
And this is the beautiful thing about God. God acknowledges and appreciates even our childish boldness. Those moments when just like his disciples we make impetuous declarations or promises we feel we can keep but only to fail later on. Although we cannot see our imminent failures in those promises or declarations, but God sees them. Whenever we fail in those promises, God does not look at us like a hopeless child who cannot succeed but like his baby who is only learning how to stand and walk. We all will definitely fall when we want to stand faithful with God. But we shouldn’t be discouraged. Jesus sees our effort and he is saying to us today “be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33).
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, help us by your grace to reach maturity in our faith in you. Amen.