“In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

Now past Ascension Sunday, we continue the sequence in John with the next five verses (Jn 16:29-33).  The disciples claim to know, understand, and believe in Jesus, but He tells them that very soon they will scatter and leave Him alone (except that, of course, the Father will be with Him).  Jesus’ last words (above) show that He realizes they will return to Him, but that doing so will be bad for them in this life but that they should never lose hope.  These words have provided encouragement throughout the ages and continue to do so today.  From red martyrs to white martyrs, from prisoners physically to prisoners of sin and vice, to all troubled by any cares, many have rested on the Lord Jesus’ words to bring them through trials.  So we should learn from Jesus and those who imitated Him.  When the world turns upside down and/or our lives seem topsy-turvy, remember that Jesus predicted all of this.  So while the prince of the world continues to roam and seemingly gain power, we recall who has conquered sin, Satan, and death.  Let us persevere, trusting in the Lord, until the end so that we can enter his kingdom and the place He has prepared for us (Jn 14:3).  Meanwhile, let us never stop working on the Lord’s behalf here on earth to fulfill the Our Father’s plea to have “thy kingdom come” (Mt 6:10) no matter the cost.

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