Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus predicts that his disciples can expect violence from their world. “They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me.”

The “world” is that collectivity of persons, institutions, armies, and nations predicated upon the loss of friendship with God. That network will hate the followers of Jesus because it cannot frighten them, and its success depends upon fear. 

Jesus is about to be swallowed up by the forces of the world, but he is not held captive or entranced by them, because he does not live in himself—and hence in fear—but rather in the Father, the power that conquers the world.

What Jesus wants his followers to experience is that same freedom and insouciance, but it is participation in the coinherent dynamics of God’s being—the insertion into the loop of grace that God is—that makes such liberating detachment possible.

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