Show Your Work
“And when he comes (the Advocate) he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.” Truthfully, it were as though Jesus gave answers to his own question but didn’t show his work. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how he arrived at his conclusions. But perhaps remembering that he spoke these words at the last supper before his passion and death, he was hinting at the final verdict of God’s wisdom and providence on his perceived defeat on the cross.
To the eyes of the unbeliever, his death was the ultimate defeat. But to those enlightened by God’s Spirit, it was an unprecedented victory that brought about the reconciliation of the human family with God and with one another. He who was seen as condemned was instead the source of our righteousness. And although it seemed the world and its ruler had passed judgment on him, in reality it would be Jesus who would sit in judgment of the world. This pattern of reversals which is usually found in the gospel of Luke shows us that we have learned to see God at work in the world even when things aren’t going swimmingly. Somehow the Holy Spirit who gives us hope also gives us the ability to see the silver lining in every storm.
The jailer was ready to end his own life. His high profile prisoners had escaped. His life was over anyway. But instead, it was just the beginning of his life in Christ. After hearing the Good News from Paul and Silas, he and his household are baptized. The world’s perception of his ruin was in fact a rebirth unto new life. We could use that enlightened perception right about now. Just when we seem hemmed in by challenges and trials, we see God bringing about new and awesome things. It isn’t always obvious. But when you see it, you tend to not bother with showing your work.
This mass was offered for the repose of +Richard Baker.
Rolo B Castillo © 2020