Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Lectionary: 297

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.

Ancient iron smiths discovered that their steel grew harder and more resilient each time they folded it on the anvil and flattened it with their hammers. A Damascus steel sword might have been folded into literally thousands of microscopic layers; it could cut through leather, wood and iron without losing its edge. It's no wonder they named their swords and sang songs about them.

I hear Jesus hammering on his eager disciples in today's gospel. They think they know something about him, and they do! 
Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
But their confident knowledge will be shattered on the anvil of Good Friday and they will be dumbfounded into uncomprehending silence. 

A lot of people think they know Jesus until something dreadful happens in their life. The devout will complain, "I thought my faith was stronger!" Others will disown their belief in God, religion and piety, shedding it like a snake sloughing dead skin. Still others will continue to talk the talk although their actions bear little resemblance to our Christian manner of life. 
In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world." 
The New Testament faithfully records the disciples' disbelief, denial and betrayal of Jesus so that we might recognize our distress in their stories, and find reason to hope. Jesus had laid the foundation; the Holy Spirit would build the edifice. We volunteer to be the living stones they use to build a sanctuary for God the Father. 

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.