In John 16:33, Jesus tells his disciples who are fretting about potentially being persecuted that they should gain peace with the certainty that HE has conquered the bounds of the world and that they are facing tribulation knowing that they are members of His kingdom.
In Advent, we celebrate the beginning of our Christian year with the birth of Jesus. His promise to us is that we will walk with him along our path in life and that through our faith and trust, we will be delivered to him and his Kingdom. The challenge for us, of course, is to surrender ourselves to that faith and trust in the face of withering obstacles in life. Jesus did not promise an easy road. Indeed, He promised exactly the opposite. And yet, in our deepest trials, we can easily forget his path through those same difficult trials and that he did this to both exhibit that faith and to show his love to us. Indeed, we are never alone. What a gift!
Many times in my life, I have struggled with not wanting to ask God for assistance. I have wanted to carry my yoke on my own in an effort, much like St Francis Xavier did, to show my love for God, and that my gift to Him was my self-sufficiency. I’m sure that while chuckling softly, He thinks that’s cute. Time and again, I end up realizing the complexity of life and the world and that my small place in it, while important to God, is just one speck of sand on a very large beach. And the peace I have been promised, If I just surrender to his care and will, is right there at my fingertips. I know that this Advent, I will revisit that Peace, that care, and the promise that with my stalwart effort and with his guide, my journey through life will be as he always intended and promised it would be: conquering the world’s pedestrian concerns and ending in his perfect light.