The Father Is with Me
May 25, 2020
Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter
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.”
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, our understanding is sometimes so muddled, and when life assails us, we can be confused. I turn to you now, because you know my deep needs, and I ask that you fill me with your courage and peace.
1. “Now You Are Talking Plainly”: It must have been challenging to be a disciple. Jesus was unlike anyone the people had ever met. He turned their world and their thinking upside down and inside out. His message was extraordinary but, quite often, his listeners were confused by the things that he said and did. Some even left him because his teaching was “too much.” When we feel like we need more than anything to hear Jesus talk plainly, how well do we listen? Our Lord will sometimes speak while we reflect on Scripture, sometimes when we’re in prayer, and other times through the ordinary circumstances of our lives. St. Therese of Lisieux says, “I know and have experienced that ‘the Kingdom of God is within us,’ that our Master has no need of books or teacher to instruct a soul. The Teacher of teachers instructs without sound of words, and though I have never heard him speak, yet I know he is within me, always guiding and inspiring me; and just when I need them, lights, hitherto unseen, break in upon me. As a rule, it is not during prayer that this happens, but in the midst of my daily duties.”
2. “You Will Leave Me Alone”: Jesus prophesied that his disciples would abandon him, and they did. We also abandon Jesus from time to time. One minute we are invigorated by deep spiritual consolations, and the next, we feel depleted and too quickly leave Jesus alone. And when we feel alone, we stumble and fall. In those moments, Jesus shows us what to do. “I am not alone,” Jesus said, “because the Father is with me.” We are to remember that we are always children of God. We can flee from God, but he never abandons us. Our loving Lord is patient with us and calls us to repent and return to his presence. “The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard ‘delay,’ but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
3. Take Courage: “In the world you will have trouble.” Jesus knows that all of us face seemingly insurmountable circumstances at times during our life. His recommendation? Take courage. As Christians, we draw courage from the sure knowledge that Jesus conquered “the world”—sin and death. We fix our eyes on eternity and live in the present moment with Jesus–whether we are suffering or joyful–and his peace pervades our soul.
Conversing with Christ: My Lord, talk plainly to me. Help me to see when my actions please you and when they don’t. Please send me your peace, give me the consolation of your presence, and strengthen me to persevere when I run into trouble.
Resolution: Lord, today, by your grace, I will spend a few minutes praising God the Father and reflecting on my eternal destiny, heaven.
For Further Reflection: I will consider my own sonship, and ponder this entry from CCC 2781: “When we pray to the Father, we are in communion with him and with his Son, Jesus Christ. Then we know and recognize him with an ever new sense of wonder. The first phrase of the Our Father is a blessing of adoration before it is a supplication. For it is the glory of God that we should recognize him as ‘Father,’ the true God. We give him thanks for having revealed his name to us, for the gift of believing in it, and for the indwelling of his Presence in us.”