A Thought from the Bishop’s Chapel — Tuesday, May 12

“[T]he world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded me” (John 14:31).   These words are spoken by our Lord to His apostles during the Last Supper in the Gospel of St. John.   He is preparing them for what will follow, namely His crucifixion.   They could easily become discouraged, if not despairing.  The dark moments of the trial before Pilate, the accusations, the rejection by the crowd, and the inevitable condemnation and death on the cross will shake their faith.   They must realize that what is to happen will tempt them to think that the prince of darkness has won, but they must take heart.   “[T]he ruler of the world is coming,” our Lord tells them, but “[h]e has no power over me” (John 14:30).

So often in life we can become very discouraged by what seems to be the victory of falsehood over truth, darkness over light, wrong over right.   This discouragement can be especially acute when we are sincerely striving to live a good life in conformity with God’s Will.  

Our Lord reassures us.   As we take up our crosses daily and follow Him, then we participate in Him.   We live in Him.   Our “Calvary” becomes His Calvary, and His Calvary becomes ours.  It does not end in defeat.   “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you,” He tells us (John 14:27).    “Not as the world gives do I give it to you.   Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27).   To the world with all its deceit and superficiality, what appears to be defeat for the follower of Christ is the exact opposite.   Our Lord has turned the world upside down.  The cross has become a sign of hope and ultimate victory.