His disciples said, “Yes, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure of speech! Now we know that you know all things, and do not need to have anyone question you; by this we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.
I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
“In the world you will have trouble,” Jesus tell us in the translation of today’s Gospel we hear at Mass, “but take courage, I have conquered the world.”
Today we celebrate St. Charles Lwanga and his companions who were martyred between 1885 and 1887. We’ll never know, but it’s easy to imagine these words sounding in St. Charles’ heart, not only during his final moments but throughout his life.
In my morality class we discuss courage as being more than mere bravery, displayed during rare moments of life-threatening danger. Rather, courage is the daily strength to accept all that we are in the face of what threatens anything we are. This view of courage, borrowed from Paul Tillich, begins with knowing we are God’s beloved.
Through St. Charles Lwanga, Jesus calls us to accept ourselves and others as God’s daughters and sons despite the fear, anxiety, and self-doubt that threatens our living fully in God’s love.
—Nick Rennpage is a Theology teacher and the director of Adult Formation and Mission Integration at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy
Good and gracious God, I know you are with me in times of peace and in times of trouble. May we have the courage to recognize and follow you, knowing that you love us unconditionally. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer teamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!