Jesus confirms the Almighty Father answers when men pray in the Name of Jesus. Every Catholic man can grow in holiness by seeking the Virtue of Hope so he can trust in God’s Providence to triumph over the world’s evil and by building the Virtues of Courage and Perseverance so he can be strengthened in Christ when he falls into sin.
6th Week of Easter – Friday – Jn 16:20-23
Jesus continues His Farewell Discourse (Jn 13:31-16:33) during Holy Week, preparing the Apostles for their mission to evangelize the world after His departure. After revealing He will soon be taken from the Apostles, and that they will experience great turmoil and anguish, He promises their anguish will turn to joy.
Jesus, with perfect and supernatural foresight, has anticipated how His Passion will play out, and moves to strengthen the faith and hope of the Apostles, so they can remain strong even as His enemies declare victory at His scandalous death on the Cross. Jesus, the Perfection of Love, perfectly empathizes with the sorrows the Apostles will soon face; He recognizes the Apostles will be distraught (weeping, lamenting) at His Passion. But just as Jesus perfectly understands the sorrowful emotions of the Apostles, He also perfectly understands the motivations and seething hate of the evil who will perversely rejoice at His murder.
Son of God, despite knowing that all of His Apostles except John will abandon Him during the Passion, Jesus demonstrates His supreme love by assuring them of their ultimate joy. Reinforcing their hope, Jesus promises the Apostles will experience joy, drawing upon an allegory of childbirth which is a painful experience, but which ultimately results in the extreme joy of the new life of a precious child; so too, the Passion of the Christ will cause great anguish, but His Resurrection will lead to everlasting joy, a joy that will blot out the Apostle’s anguish. Jesus acknowledges the Apostles will grieve, but promises He will return, replacing all their doubts and questions with unshakeable joy. Because of His return to, and unity with, God the Father, Jesus assures the Apostles they will receive everything they request of God the Father when they pray in the Name of Jesus.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be comforted by Jesus, by how He comforts the Apostles: Son of Man, Jesus experienced the fullness of human experience in His Human Nature and has a deep visceral understanding of human anguish and joy; the perfection of Prudence, Jesus uses both His Divine Knowledge and superior Human Knowledge to anticipate and address the Apostles’ turmoils; perfection of Empathy and Charity, Jesus decisively performs Spiritual Works of Mercy (Comforting the Sorrowful, Instructing the Ignorant) to relieve the suffering of the Apostles.
Trust God’s Providence to triumph over the world’s evil
Realize: Because the world hates and rejects God, the modern world is falling into ever greater depths of deception, perversion, hatred, persecution, and violence, leading many men to wonder, “Where is God?”
Believe: Review the Church’s teaching on Providence and the Scandal of Evil (CCC 309-314).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me grow in the Virtue of Hope so I always remember and trust that You, Infinite Wisdom and Power, have things well in hand and will use the growing evil in the world to achieve even greater glories for Your Kingdom.
Be renewed in Fortitude by Christ when you fall
Realize: Just as the Apostles, who struggled with courage during the trials of the Passion but were renewed in Jesus to live heroic lives, so too can a man who has doubted and strayed from the Church, be renewed and strengthened by Jesus.
Believe: Reflect upon the Virtue of Fortitude (CCC 1808, 1837).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Fortitude, help me grow in the Virtues of Courage and Perseverance (parts of Fortitude) so I heroically stand against the unavoidable persecutions that come to those who love Your; allow me to be strengthened by Your Body and Blood in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.