“I am troubled now.  Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’?  But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.”  Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.”  The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder, but others said,  “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come for my sake but for yours.  Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.”  (Emphasis added.)

Jesus said to them … “Whoever walks in the dark does not know where he is going.  While you have light, believe in the light, so you may become children of light.”

Jn 12: 27-31, 35, 36

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There are so many extraordinary and brilliantly instructive and timeless exchanges in Scripture, real guideposts for us.  This is one.  In my view, it is one of the best.

Jesus reassures us by showing that what is asked of us, what we face may be troubling, but it reminds us that troubling or not we are encased in the Father’s story, the Father’s plan, the Father’s benevolent will.  More than that we are instruments in the Father’s plan.  Our lives contribute to His plan and make us, meager as we are, a part of this story, this insurmountable narrative.

Our sufferings are not for our sake but for the sake of others – so that they might learn, that we might in our suffering know their suffering and know the suffering of Christ and be drawn closer to Him and others.  Yes, there is a divine intimacy in suffering.  Indeed, in a world were the forces of darkness generate suffering, we can rise above it, triumph over it.

In this passage we see the ways of the mortal world.  Yes, it is a place where good is seen, played out in courage and sacrifice, but it is also a place of darkness often written boldly and manifest in dreadful, evil and destructive ways.

Yet, we have Light.  We can be light.  In our life we can seek light and seek to be light.

Draw close to one another, those who are light.  Befriend one another.  Encourage one another.  Support one another.  Do not fear or begrudge.

Believe in light, you children of Light.

Shalom.

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