In today’s first reading from Acts, Paul runs into a group of believers who have not yet received the Holy Spirit. In fact, they hadn’t even heard of a Holy Spirit. So Paul lays hands on them and they received the gift of the Spirit. In John’s Gospel, Jesus tells the disciples that they will have trouble (again!), but to “take courage.”
In the Last Supper discourse that we have been reading for the past couple of weeks, this is at least the third time that Jesus tells the disciples that they are in for tough times. But in today’s reading, He reassures them that it will be OK. Why? Jesus says, “I have conquered the world.”
Here Jesus is telling the disciples that all will be well because of what He has done. Not what they will do, for nothing that they (or we) could do could possibly make it all right. It is precisely because of the action of Jesus (overcoming the world) that everything will turn out OK. It reminds me to remember that it is not by my power or strength that good things happen. It is only by the power of Christ working in me. Another great example of giving credit where credit is due.
Father, we thank you for giving Jesus the power to conquer the world. Help us to always remember that that has already been done, and it wasn’t us who did it. Amen.