Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus candidly tells his disciples that they will abandon him but that he will not be alone because the Father is with him. Then he encourages them: “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.”

In Jesus of Nazareth, the divine and the human have come together in a salvific way, and this reconciliation is the long-awaited kingdom of God. Though there are many themes that run through the Hebrew Scriptures, there is one motif that is consistent and persistent: the passionate and aching desire for deliverance, the cry of the heart toward the God from whom the people feel alienated. If only the power of rebellion and sin were ended and the friendship of God and human beings re-established, then peace, shalom, all-pervasive well-being would reign. 

What Jesus announced in his first sermon in the hills of Galilee, and what he demonstrates throughout his life and ministry, is that this wild desire of his ancestors, this hope against hope, this intimate union of God and humanity, is an accomplished fact, something which can be seen and heard and touched.

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