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.”
16:31–32. Jesus moderates the apostles’ enthusiasm, which expresses itself in a spontaneous confession of faith; he does this by asking them a question which has two dimensions. On the one hand, it is a kind of reproach for their having taken too long to believe in him: it is true that there were other occasions when they expressed faith in the Master (cf. Jn 6:68–69; etc.), but until now they have not fully realized that he is the One sent by the Father. The question also refers to the fragility of their faith: they believe, and yet very soon they will abandon him into the hands of his enemies. Jesus requires us to have a firm faith: it is not enough to show it in moments of enthusiasm, it has to stand the test of difficulties and opposition.
16:33. The Second Vatican Council teaches in connection with this passage: “The Lord Jesus who said ‘Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world’ (Jn 16:33), did not by these words promise complete victory to his Church in this world. This sacred Council rejoices that the earth which has been sown with the seed of the Gospel is now bringing forth fruit in many places under the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord, who is filling the world” (Presbyterorum ordinis, 22).
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus promises peace to his disciples who abandoned him at his arrest. “Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered… 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.”
And Jesus’ prophecy is fulfilled at the Resurrection. The disciples are gathered in the upper room, that place of fear, and suddenly Jesus is in their midst. What is the reaction of the disciples? They are afraid. And no wonder: they had abandoned him.
In the face of this fear, Jesus does two simple things. First, he shows his wounds. Second, he offers his peace. Both are important. By the first action, he reminds them of the sins that put an end to his life. In the second great move, Jesus says, “Shalom,” which means peace. Jesus returns not with vengeance, not with a renewal of violence, not with more of the same; rather the violence brought against him is met with Shalom, the gift of peace. With this, a new world opens up and a way out emerges.
– Bishop Robert Barron
May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.