The Gospel St. John 16.23
At that time: Jesus said unto his disciples : Verily, verily I say unto you : Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my Name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my Name ; ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs. The time cometh when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly of the Father. At that day, ye shall ask in my Name ; and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you : for the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed, that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world, and go to the Father. His disciples said unto him : Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure, that thou knowest all things, and needest not, that any man should ask thee : by this we believe, that thou camest forth from God. Jesus answered them : Do ye now believe? Behold, the hour cometh, yea is now come, that ye shall be scattered every man to his own, and shall leave me alone l and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation : but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
How many of us here remember that movie that came out a number of years ago called “The DaVinci Code”? You may recall that the subject of this movie caused all kinds of turmoil amongst people, both Christian and non-Christian alike. And I remember thinking that all that fuss was so unnecessary. On one side, you had priests and pastors speaking out, holding discussion groups, planning sermons, all around this one subject! On the other side, you had some people pointing to the movie, or the book on which it was based, and saying, Aha! I knew the Catholic Church was hiding something!
Sad, just sad. It’s a fantasy people! Why get so worked up? The Church has survived bigger things, larger tribulations, than the imagination of some author or screenwriter. And the Church will survive this one too.
So why did people get so worked up? Because, the DaVinci Code sets out to declare that Jesus Christ was just a man. Not the Son of God. Not even a prophet. Certainly not God Incarnate. Just a guy who was a bit smarter than most, but who also got married, had a kid or two, then got himself into a bad situation and got killed as a result.
Now you might think this is sacrilegious, and you’re probably right. But I think it’s sadder than that. Remember, part of the premise of this story is that Jesus had children, and that his bloodline continues on to this day. Think about that. Any of you think that you might be an ancestor of Jesus?
This is sad to me because some people are still taking this story as true; these people have lost their connection to God. Imagine the loneliness that must result when that happens. If you do not feel God’s presence in your life; if you think that He has left you, or that He doesn’t exist at all; how lonely must that be?
Believing a fantasy is easier because it absolves a person from responsibility. Saying that Jesus was just another human being means that you don’t have to believe in him, don’t have to make a spiritual connection with him; don’t have to go to church; don’t have dedicate your life to him. Most of all, believing a fantasy means that you don’t have to feel like God has left you. So therefore, your loneliness is not your fault.
But, of course, it is a fantasy after all. No real basis in truth. There are no credible documents, references, or any other historical information that even imply that Jesus was married. There is no evidence that the Apostles and the early Church thought of Jesus as being anything other than Divine. And even those books and letters that didn’t get included in the final Canon of the Bible describe Jesus in more divine terms than the Gospels do.
So, we’re back where we started. “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my Name, he will give it you“. People who would believe in this fantasy are afraid to ask. Why? “for the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed, that I came out from God.” And that is difficult for people to do. Love God. Love Jesus Christ. Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he came from God, that he IS God.
“yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” Another difficult thing to admit because it means that when we feel alone it is our own doing. God is here; around us, by us, with us, in us. He is here and if we don’t feel that, well it’s because we’re shutting Him our or ignoring Him.
“In the world ye shall have tribulation”. A scary thought, but what of it? Isn’t it inevitable that we should have difficult times here on this earth? Evil exists. Bad people will do bad things to us. Physical ailments will take their toll. Friends and loved ones will depart from this life around us. Yes, we will have tribulations.
Ah, but now, here is where it gets interesting. Now we get to ask “why”; now we get to ask, “what’s next”? Now we get to ask what the meaning of all this is. “These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace“.
This is what these people are looking for; both the people who were protesting so much about a movie, and those who would think that it represents the truth. All anyone is looking for is peace. Peace of mind, peace of heart, peace of soul. The peace of God which passes all understanding.
That peace comes with knowing and believing that you have a connection with God. That connection starts with this even more simple belief; “but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world“. Jesus Christ, through his victory over death, is our connection to God. We have no fear of being alone because Christ has made it easy for us to always be assured that God is with us.
He did this simply by his presence here on earth. He was human, make no mistake. However, where fantasies would limit him to mortal existence, we know that Jesus is both God and Man. The Word made flesh.
He continues to do this through the Sacrament of the Mass. How can we ever doubt that God is always with us when his Son is right here, Really and Truly Present, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. Emmanuel; God with us.
And so I choose not to leave you with some comment about other peoples fantasies; those are things of this world after all. Instead I’m only going to speak about reality. God is with us always, at all times, in all places; we need never feel alone. God will give us His Peace no matter what happens, no matter what trials or tribulations we may face. God is eternally connected to us through His Son; through his words, through his Sacrifice and through His Grace. We need never resort to fantasy, for He has overcome the world.