Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter Father Paul Campbell, LC
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."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you and all that you have revealed for our salvation. I hope in you because of your overflowing mercy. Every single act of yours on this earth demonstrated your love for us. Your ascent into heaven before the eyes of the Apostles inspires my hope of one day joining you there. I love you and wish you to be the center of my life.
Petition: Lord, give me an unwavering confidence in your victory over sin and evil in my life and in the world.
1. Jesus Knows Our Weaknesses: Jesus warns his disciples that they will all flee from him in the Garden of Gethsemane when the guards come to arrest him. He is preparing them not for their fall, but for their recovery. He never expected them to be perfect, without flaws, mistakes or shortcomings. He doesn't expect it of us either. There have been times when we have all abandoned him to follow the selfishness of sin. We sought our own pleasure, as he sought the nails of the cross and the scourging of the lash. Where am I struggling right now? Am I wavering over a compromise with sin in my life? Ask him for the strength and light to live as his faithful friend.
2. Trust in the Father's Presence: Even as the disciples left him, Jesus was not alone. His Father was with him. This essential union of love in his life with his Father was the strength that carried him forward to embrace the cross. He could be calm in the midst of the storm and endure unimaginable sufferings during his passion and death. Jesus lights the way for us in the midst of our own struggles and trials in life. It is natural for us to feel isolated from everyone when we are suffering and struggling, alone in the pain and the emptiness of our life. But God is with us; he is within us. We are never alone.
3. His Victory is My Victory: Jesus never promised his disciples an easy life. He was very clear with them that in the world they would have trouble. It is the same for us. If the world has rejected Christ, it will reject us. We can't be surprised when opposition and difficulties come our way. It is part and parcel of following Christ and shows that we are heading in the right direction. It is hard to keep fighting, fighting the enemies within and without, but Jesus is with us. We need faith to see that he has won the victory. He has overcome sin and death and he is there at the right hand of the Father.
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, it is hard to keep fighting. Sometimes it seems I make little progress. I have the same struggles and difficulties every day. I'm overwhelmed by the evil I see in the world, and it can be hard to see your victory in many places, in many families and homes. Give me the hope that I need to keep seeking your will in all things.
Resolution: I will pray for those who are struggling in their faith.