The disciples said to him, “Now you are speaking plainly and not in veiled language! Now we see that you know all things, even before we question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus answered them, “You say that you believe? The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.
I have told you all this, so that in me you may have peace. You will have trouble in the world; but, courage! I have overcome the world.”
In today’s gospel reading we see the disciples stating over-confidently: “Now we see… we believe.” As usual, they tend to take credit for what is a pure grace of God. And Jesus is very careful to dispel their illusions and take them down a peg or two. They think they are pillars of faith? Well, every single one of them (yes, even John, the favorite disciple!) will abandon him at the moment of his arrest and flee like scared rabbits. The least that can be said is that Jesus never nourished any illusion on his disciples’ personal strength of character.
“Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me,” says Jesus in this gospel scene. And elsewhere Jesus specifies why this is so, “because I always do what is pleasing to him” (Jn 8:29). In other words, the union of wills is the source of the Father and the Son’s unbreakable unity. And this means for us that, whenever we unite our will to God’s will and sincerely want to obey him, he is always with us—even if we might interpret his will wrongly. In the eyes of God, sincerely trying to please him is what counts the most decisively.
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