The news that we receive daily from the internet, television, radio or even word of mouth is enough to cause anxiety to unprecedented levels. Protests, terrorist attacks, the development of and rattling of the nuclear arsenal, divisions within the government, divisions within every of society, divisions within the Church. Where does the bad news end? How much worse might it get?
In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “…Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” In this world, we have trouble and plenty of it. Our courage however comes from Jesus who has conquered the world. This world is transitory, passing. Jesus leads us through what passes away into everlasting life, into the fullness of life, into life that is lived in, with, and through God, even now.
It can sometimes be difficult to hold onto this message, but this is real, full, complete. It is the path of sinners who become saints, of disciples who make other disciples, of believers who joyfully live and share the Gospel in all of its parts ~ even those that challenge us and cause us to recognize that we need to repent. May it be for me and for you!
Saint Paul speaks of the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God. If we are to be victors with Christ, we must go to Him and turn to Him every day and even every moment of the day. For only God’s judgments are inscrutable, His ways unsearchable. As the fish cannot survive outside of water, so our souls cannot live without prayer, without opening ourselves up to God. After all, we come from God and are made for God, in His image and likeness.
Saint Peter’s answer to Jesus brings this home. Jesus’ question is not just for the Apostles who are physically with Him in our Gospel this weekend. Jesus’ question is directed to you and me every day of our lives ~ “But who do you say that I am?” Indeed, who do you, who do I, say that Jesus is?
Day by day, perhaps with a quiver in our voice, perhaps with complete confidence, perhaps with questions arising in our hearts ~ nevertheless, we echo the very words spoken by Peter ~ “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” There is no other one, no other way, no other courage, no other victory than to surrender our hearts, minds and wills to “…the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And, in that affirmation, in that acknowledgement do our souls find rest and the strength to carry on through the uncertainties and worries of this life.
God bless you, God love you and I love you,