AS THEY CONTINUED WALKING, He told them of the persecution that would be suffered by His followers and of the help and consolation they would receive:
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love what is its own. But because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I have spoken to You: No servant is greater than his master. If they have persecuted Me, they will persecute you also; if they have kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin. But now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them works such as no one else has done, they would have no sin. But now they have seen, and have hated both Me and My Father; but that the word written in their Law may be fulfilled, ‘They have hated me without cause.'”
“But when the Advocate has come, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness concerning Me. And you also bear witness, because from the beginning you are with Me.”
“These things I have spoken to you that you may not be scandalized. They will expel you from the synagogues. Yes, the hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering worship to God. And these things they will do because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have spoken to you, that when the time for them has come you may remember that I told you. These things, however, I did not tell you from the beginning, because I was with you. And now I am going to Him who sent Me, and no one of you asks Me, ‘Where art Thou going?'”
“But because I have spoken to you these things, sorrow has filled your heart. But I speak the truth to you; it is expedient for you that I depart. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And when He has come He will convict the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of justice, because I go to the Father, and you will see Me no more; and of judgment, because the prince of this world has already been judged.”
“Many things yet I have to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will teach you all the truth. For He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He will hear He will speak, and the things that are to come He will declare to you. He will glorify Me, because He will receive of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. That is why I have said that He will receive of what is Mine, and will declare it to you. A little while and you shall see Me no longer; and again a little while and you shall see Me, because I go to the Father.”
The disciples were troubled by these last words, and began discussing among themselves. “What is this ‘little while’ of which He speaks,” they said. But Jesus knew what was in their minds and said to them:
“You inquire about this among yourselves because I said, ‘A little while and you shall not see Me, and again a little while and you shall see Me.’ Amen, amen, I say to you, that you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman about to give birth has sorrow, because her hour has come. But when she has brought forth the child, she no longer remembers the anguish for her joy that a man is born into the world. And you therefore have sorrow now; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no one shall take from you. And in that day you shall ask Me nothing. Amen, amen, I say to you, if you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it to you. Hitherto you have not asked anything in My name. Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.”
“These things I have spoken to you in parables. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in parables, but will speak to you plainly of the Father. In that day you shall ask in My name; and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father for you, for the Father Himself loves you because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again I leave the world and go to the Father.”
Their difficulty solved, the disciples said to Him, “Behold, now Thou speakest plainly, and utterest no parable. Now we know that Thou knowest all things, and dost not need that anyone should question Thee. For this reason we believe that Thou camest forth from God.” Now their faith seemed firm, but within a few hours it would falter pitifully. Checking their protestations of belief, Jesus said to them:
“Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each one to his own house, and to leave Me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have afiliction. But take courage, I have overcome the world.”
Meditation: As He walked with His disciples toward the Garden of Olives and the beginning of His passion, our Lord tried to prepare them for the isolation from the world and the persecution they would encounter when they began to preach His gospel. Today those who try to live completely unselfish lives on the model of Christ’s life find themselves, if not actually persecuted, at least misunderstood and isolated from the society around them. The married couple, for example, that prefer to bring up a large family rather than to possess a better furnished home or a more expensive automobile, are likely to be regarded as benighted and unfortunate, as having violated some social convention. A person who discourages malicious community gossip may be labeled as not “regular,” as not “belonging.” May we accept such misunderstanding in the spirit in which Christ accepted the rebuffs of the people He had come to redeem.
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. 239-242. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H Winkler.