Jesus rebukes the Apostle’s overconfidence and reveals they will soon abandon Him. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Understanding from the Holy Spirit so he can more effectively battle against hidden sin and by building the Virtue of Charity so he can instruct the ignorant in the Truth of Jesus Christ.
7th Week of Easter – Monday – Jn 16:29-33
Drawing His Farewell Discourse (Jn 13:31-16:33) to a close during Holy Week, Jesus had prepared the Apostles for His coming Crucifixion and Resurrection, warned of their coming turmoil and promised that all His men would be unified in their souls by the indwelling of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit, a glorious Communion of Saints. Now, Jesus rebukes them for their pride and lack of understanding and predicts they will abandon Him during the Crucifixion.
After Jesus confirms He is leaving the world, a direct reference to His coming death on the Cross, it appears, at first glance, the Apostles are finally “getting it.” But the Apostles are overconfident and arrogant, and demonstrate a discouraging immaturity in their faith. They fail to grasp the profound implications of the divinity of Jesus, and instead rely on their own imperfect perspective of His knowledge (“You know everything”), and His worldly authority (“need none to question You”); their views are stuck in the world, describing their admiration for Jesus as perhaps a “great man”, rather than God Incarnate.
Jesus rebukes the Apostles’ pride and myopia with sarcasm (“Do you now believe?”), revealing the profound immaturity of their faith by prophetically describing the Apostles’ abandonment of Him during the Passion, and the breaking of their fraternity and solidarity as they scatter in fear and hide from the murderous Jewish leaders. To give them some peace of mind, Jesus reassures them, despite their abandonment, that He is never alone for the Father is with Him, and that they should be of good cheer for He has conquered the world.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be encouraged by Jesus, the Divine King: the perfection of Leadership, Jesus Admonishes the Apostles for their pride (a Spiritual Work of Mercy), using Sarcastic words to get their attention and contrition; Jesus reveals the Apostles’ cowardly future abandonment of Him, but offers them Encouragement by confirming God the Father will be with Him; Divine Charity, despite their failures, Jesus offers the Apostles His Peace.
Be guided by the Spirit to battle against hidden sin
Realize: Despite being personally formed by Jesus for three years, the Apostles, though with good intentions, were blind to some of their own sins against God; every Catholic man also can be blind to his sinful acts through ignorance or rebellion against the Commandments of God.
Believe: Reflect upon the truth that All Sin is an Offense Against God (CCC 431, 1033, 1440, 1850, 1871, 2094).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Understanding so I am admonished and instructed by You to perceive the many sins I commit out of ignorance and by omission, and how I may be strengthened in my continuing Spiritual Combat against my sins.
Instruct the Ignorant in the Truth of Jesus Christ
Realize: Like the confused and prideful Apostles, many today rely on their imperfect worldly knowledge and personal opinions. Claiming to be “spiritual but not religious” and that they respect Jesus as a “wise teacher”, they assert that all spiritual paths are the same and all lead to Heaven; these ignorant claims are demonstrably false for religions and human philosophies contradict each other in fundamental ways.
Believe: Reflect upon the unwavering truth that Jesus is The Only Son of God (CCC 441-445, 454) and Salvation is only through Christ (CCC 74, 459, 846-848).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Charity, help me grow in the Virtue of Charity so I know Your Truth and have the courage to gently and respectfully Instruct the Ignorant (a Spiritual Work of Mercy) and lead them to You, Savior of Man.