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. Now, recall, too, that Jesus told the disciples that, if they had faith, they would do greater things than He had done. So, if Jesus has conquered the world, I suppose that means that we can, too! We no longer have to be slaves to sin. We no longer have to walk in fear. Seize the day, my friend! You can conquer the world!
Father, we thank you for giving Jesus the power to conquer the world. Help us to conquer the world, too, through our faith in him. Amen.