Bible Text: “I am not asking you to take them from the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one” John 17. 11-19
Jesus is telling us the importance and challenge of prayer. He is asking the Father to make us like Him which means that He wanted exactly the same thing that had happened to Him; that His way of life may be our own way of life. He was in the world but every time He spent in prayer before God, He would primarily ask God to teach do His will. The mission that was given to Him is not simply the proclamation of the word of God; it is more than just performing physical miracles but He has to suffer and die on the cross. In fact when Peter naively swore that he will make it sure that Jesus will be spared from carrying the cross, Jesus right away rebuked Him saying “get out of my sight Satan for your wish is not the will of the Father.
We are in this world. In the world that we are, happiness and sadness, suffering and comfort, sickness and health, persecution and appreciation, losing and gaining are intertwined together all the time. For as long we are in this world, we are always in the perilous journey. If we are enjoying good things from the Lord, we must also be ready to accept our own crosses. This is the very meaning of Jesus’ words “we are in this world”. We are being encouraged to carry our own crosses because it is the sure and only way to get to heaven. When Jesus tells us to embrace our crosses, it does not mean retribution but initiation. God is not a savage god who will just punish every time we have transgressed against Him but He is a God who wanted us to suffer because it makes us like His only begotten son. This time of pandemic is indeed an opportunity to imitate Jesus. There are various forms of crosses that discretely come across in our life such as loneliness, isolation, poverty, sickness and conflict. Let us ask the Lord to strengthen us to carry them on wholeheartedly and humbly knowing that the value of these crosses is more than the comfort that we can enjoy in this world. The temptation of Satan is make our doubt the goodness of God. “If God is good why does He allow to suffer? This is the seeming contradiction of our life in this world.
Let us try and continue living in the grace of God by embracing crosses destined for us. Through it, we not only submitting our life to the will of God but we are sending message to the world that the devil has no power of over me.