“But take courage! I have overcome the world.”

We hear in our gospel this week words that can give us great hope, great solace; we hear the words “In this world you will have trouble. But take courage! I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16)

And yet, has the world been overcome? Is greed solved? Is poverty eradicated? Does goodness reign? We normally think that ‘overcoming’ means something is defeated or done away with. Or if we ‘overcome’ an illness we assume that the illness is gone- that we are liberated from it, that we have left it all behind. 

But Christ has not overcome the world by solving everything. This is because he says, ‘in this world you will have trouble’. Christ has not overcome the world by leaving it behind. This is because He says ‘I go to the Father ground of the World’, which is here, in all things. 

His overcoming is real because at any moment our hearts can open to His peace no matter what trouble we are going through. His overcoming is real because His love and strength is there for us no matter how dark things get, no matter what we have done. He has overcome the world by placing Himself in its very centre, like a seed in the dark soil, light within this darkness, peace within struggle, now and forever more He is the ‘comforter who walks in the Spirit before us’.

Dear friends, may the eyes of our spirit open in us, that we come to experience this for ourselves, that we may feel His spirit presence walking with us in all the sorrows and joys that we meet. For He has overcome the world because now, no darkness, no evil, nothing can separate Him from our hearts.