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Subj:    JOHN 16:29-33: MONDAY'S GOSPEL FOR REFLECTION 
Date:   6/4/00 1:15:13 PM Pacific Daylight Time
From:   webmaster@cin.org (CIN)
Reply-to:   owner-dailyword@cin.org
To: dailyword@cin.org

Forwarded from: Manuel Tuazon <mtuazon@ix.netcom.com> 
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

For: Monday, June 5, 2000

Memorial: St. Boniface, Bishop, Religious, Missionary & Martyr

From: John 16:29-33

Fullness of Joy (Continuation)
------------------------------
[29] His (Jesus') disciples said, "Ah, now You are speaking plainly, 
not in any figure!  [30] Now we know that You know all things, and 
need none to question You; by this we believe that You came from God." 
[31] Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe?  [32] The hour is 
coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, every man to 
his home, and will leave Me alone; yet I am not alone, for the Father 
is with Me.  [33] I have said this to you, that in Me you may have 
peace.  In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I 
have overcome the world."

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Commentary:

25-30. As can be seen also from other passages in the Gospels, Jesus
spent time explaining His doctrine in more detail to His Apostles than
to the crowd (cf. Mark 4:10-12 and paragraph)--to train them for their
mission of preaching the Gospel to the whole world (cf. Matthew
28:18-20).  However, our Lord also used metaphors or parables when
imparting instruction to the Apostles, and He does so in this discourse
of the Last Supper--the vine, the woman giving birth, etc.: He
stimulates their curiosity and they, because they do not understand,
ask Him questions (cf. verses 17-18).  Jesus now tells them that the
time is coming when He will speak to them in a completely clear way so
that they will know exactly what He means.  This He will do after the
Resurrection (cf. Acts 1:3).  But even now, since He knows their
thoughts, He is making it ever plainer to them that He is God, for only
God can know what is happening inside someone (cf. 2:25).  Verse 28, "I
came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving
the world and going to the Father" summarizes the mystery of Christ's
Person (cf. John 1:14; 20:31).

31-32. Jesus moderates the Apostles' enthusiasm, which expresses itself
in a spontaneous confession of faith; He does this by asking them a
question which has two dimensions.  On the one hand, it is a kind of
reproach for their having taken too long to believe in Him: it is true
that there were other occasions when they expressed faith in the Master
(cf. John 6:68-69; etc.), but until now they have not fully realized
that He is the One sent by the Father.  The question also refers to the
fragility of their faith: they believe, and yet very soon they will
abandon Him into the hands of His enemies.  Jesus requires us to have a
firm faith: it is not enough to show it in moments of enthusiasm, it
has to stand the test of difficulties and opposition.

33. The Second Vatican Council teaches in connection with this passage:
"The Lord Jesus who said `Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world'
(John 16:33), did not by these words promise complete victory to His
Church in this world.  This sacred Council rejoices that the earth
which has been sown with the seed of the Gospel is now bringing forth
fruit in many places under the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord, who

is filling the world" ("Presbyterorum Ordinis", 22).

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Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries".  Biblical text
taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate.  Commentaries
made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of
Navarre, Spain.  Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock,
Co. Dublin, Ireland.  Printed in Hungary.
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