Monday, June 6, 2011


"I have conquered the world."
(Jn 16:33)

Association with anyone who could speak those five words should be a cause for pause.  Either you have a sense the speaker is hallucinating or, for one reason or another, you have a sense it just might be true despite any troubles you might have or have had.

From the experience you have while  reading or hearing the words of Jesus, there have to have been moments when you have felt encouraged.  Surely the most powerful moments in his life are his death and resurrection.  Jesus is the only human being to be brutally brought to death and then risen from that death -- on his own, we might say.  Indeed Jesus has conquered the world.  Yet it is a victory that armies can never accomplish.  Fr. Fleming Rutledge in The Undoing of Death: "It is a way of power in humility, power in sacrifice, power in non-violence, power in self-emptying love."

When you encounter challenges that seem insurmountable, where do you turn?  Do you feel the need to conquer on your own?  Or, as countless winners have done, do you turn to the one who has told you "I have conquered the world"?  Do you believe him?  I ask again: Do you believe Jesus?  Do you believe in him and his proclamation "that is at odds with everything the world teaches"(Rutledge)?  Do you turn to the "power of self-emptying love"?