Monday - Easter Time
1) Opening prayer
Lord our God,
when your Son Jesus had to pass through trials,
he knew that you were with him
and he committed himself into your hands.
In this way he brought peace to people.
As people baptized into his name,
let your Spirit help us to be brave
when suffering and difficulties come our way,
that, like your Son and with him,
we may overcome evil in ourselves
and in the world.
May our pains give birth
to love and peace and hope for others.
We ask you this through Christ our Lord.
Reading - John 16,29-33
The disciples of Jesus said, 'Now you are speaking
plainly and not using veiled language. Now we see that you know everything and
need not wait for questions to be put into words; because of this we believe
that you came from God.' Jesus answered them: Do you believe at last? Listen;
the time will come -- indeed it has come already -- when you are going to be
scattered, each going his own way and leaving me alone. And yet I am not alone,
because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may find
peace in me. In the world you will have hardship, but be courageous: I have
conquered the world.
• The context of
today’s Gospel continues to be the environment of the Last Supper, an
environment of fraternity and of farewell, of sadness and of expectation, in
which is mirrored the situation of the communities of Asia Minor at the end of
the first century. In order to be able to understand the Gospels well, we can
never forget that they give the words of Jesus not as if they had been
registered in a CD to transmit them literally. The Gospels are pastoral
writings which seek to embody and update the words of Jesus in the new
situations in which the communities find themselves in the second half of the
first century in Galilee (Matthew), in Greece (Luke), in Italy (Mark) and in
Asia Minor (John). In the Gospel of John, the words and the questions of the
disciples are not only those of the disciples, in fact, they reveal the
questions and problems of the communities. They are the mirror in which the
communities of that time as well as those of today are recognized with their
sadness and their anguishes, with their joys and their hopes. And they find
light and strength in the answers of Jesus.
• John 16,
29-30: Now, you are speaking plainly. Jesus had told his disciples: The
Father himself loves you, because you have loved me, and you have believed that
I come from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world and now I
am leaving the world to go to the Father (Jn 16, 29-30). Listening to this
affirmation of Jesus, the disciples answered: “Now you are speaking plainly
and not using veiled language. Now we see that you know everything and need not
wait for questions to be put into words. Because of this we believe that you
came from God”. The disciples think that they have understood everything.
Yes, truly they got a true light to clarify their problems. But it was still a
very dim light. They got the seed, but at that moment, not knowing the tree. The
light or the seed was the fundamental intuition of faith according to which
Jesus is for us the revelation of God, who is Father: “Now we believe that
you came from God.“ But this was only the beginning, the seed. Jesus
himself was and continues to be the great parable or the revelation of God for
us. God reaches us and reveals himself to us. But God does not enter into any
schema. He exceeds all, goes beyond our schema and gives us the unexpected
surprise which, sometimes, is very painful.
• John 16,
31-32: You are leaving me alone and yet I am not alone because the Father is
with me. Jesus asks: Do you believe at last? He knows his disciples.
He knows that there is still much lacking for the understanding of the mystery
of God and of the Good News of God. He knows that in spite of the good will and
in spite of the light that they have just received in that moment, they still
have to face the unexpected and painful surprise of the Passion and
Death of Jesus. The small light that they got is not sufficient to
overcome the darkness of the crisis: Behold, the time will come, indeed it
has come already, when you are going to be scattered , each one going his own
way and leaving me alone; and yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.
This is the source of certitude of Jesus and through Jesus, this is and will be
the source of certitude for all of us: The Father is with me! When Moses
was sent to liberate the people from the oppression of the Egyptians, this
being his mission, he received this certainty: “”Go! I am with you” /Ex
3, 12). The certainty of the liberating presence of God is expressed in the
name that God assumes at the moment of the beginning of the Exodus and of the
liberation of his people: JHWH, God with us: This is the name for all time (Ex
3, 15). A Name which is present more than six thousand times only in the New
• John 16, 33: Courage,
I have conquered the world! And now we have the last phrase pronounced by
Jesus who anticipates the victory and which will be a source of peace and of strength
for the disciples of that time, as well as for all of us, up until now: I
have told you all this so that you may find peace in me. In the world you will
have hardship, but be courageous, I have conquered the world”. With his
sacrifice out of love, Jesus conquers the world and Satan. His disciples are
called to participate in the struggle and the victory. To feel the courage
which he gives is already to overcome the battle”. (L.A. Schokel)
• A small light
helped the disciples to take a step farther, but it did not light the whole
journey. Have you had a similar experience in your life?
• Courage, I
have conquered the world! Has this phrase of Jesus helped you some times in
5) Concluding Prayer
Protect me, O
God, in you is my refuge.
To Yahweh I
say, 'You are my Lord, my happiness is in none
my cup is Yahweh;
alone, hold my lot secure. (Ps 16,1-2,5)