FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
May 22, 2023 Seventh Monday of Easter
WORD of the DAY
The disciples said to Jesus, “Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech. Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now? 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.” (John 16: 29-33)
How shall I live this Word?
The context of today’s Gospel continues to be the environment of the Last Supper, an environment of fraternity and farewell, of sadness and expectation, which reflects the situation of the first Christian communities, of our communities, of each of us. Today’s Gospel shows us how much the Apostles still needed the Holy Spirit to fully understand the Master’s Word. They are ready to show Jesus that they have understood everything! They delude themselves that they have now known their Master, because He speaks openly, that is, in an open, direct, and courageous way, no longer using parables or similes, as in the past. But Jesus, who knows their hearts and the fragility of their faith, immediately freezes their excessive certainties: “Now do you believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has already come, when you will scatter, each one on his own and you will leave me alone.” They manifest the superficiality of those who think that faith is the result of formulas learned only abstractly and on the surface. He, a good and patient Teacher, does not let them fall into their presumptuous pride of having already arrived at the ‘whole truth’, but confronts them with their weaknesses and frailties. He continues to deepen the discussion to make them grow in true knowledge and love. The gap between the disciples’ statements about their faith and the understanding of Jesus is radical and concerns us closely. Let’s say that the same thing that happened to the Apostles also happens to us today. Every time we think we have ‘arrived’, the Lord, with a little irony, makes us understand that true faith is far beyond our limited understandings or our simple feelings. Faith is, as Saint John of the Cross says, an ascent into the darkness, it is seeing without seeing, which becomes ever stronger and more powerful, precisely when one practices walking even without the help of one’s own tastes and spiritual attachments. The Gospel text concludes with a note of great hope and trust: the certainty that He, the Risen One, is always with us gives us strength and courage.
We are preparing for the feast of Pentecost now near; let us invoke the Spirit of Light. Come to sustain us and nourish our faith.
The voice of Louis Evely, Writer
Faith is a mixture of light and dark. It has enough brightness to admit, enough darkness to refuse, enough reasons to object, enough light to bear the darkness in it, enough hope to counter despair, enough love to tolerate its solitude and mortifications.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sanbiagio.org email@example.com Blog: livingscripture.wordpress.com Comment: Sr. Vilma Colombo, FMA