Be brave: I have conquered the world.
These are the words that conclude the Gospel reading today. Words to comfort and inspire. Words to encourage and guide. Words that must have burned themselves into the minds and hearts of the disciples of Jesus as they realised their mission to spread the Good News without the physical presence of Jesus.
There is great comfort in the knowledge that no matter what daily life throws at us, Jesus has been there before us and indeed has conquered the challenges that lie before us. I have often come across people who have enormous suffering in their life, and yet they are serene and full of hope that life and circumstances will improve. It always strikes me that they are people of great faith, a faith born out of this belief, that Jesus has gone before them, endured great pain, and brought great healing.
This week as Pentecost approaches, I pray that we can each draw on the gift of the Holy Spirit that we need most in our lives at this moment in time. Jesus invites us to find peace in him, inner peace, deep peace that will see us through the trials and tribulations of our daily life. When that peace is experienced then we truly can be brave, knowing that Jesus has conquered the world and that we too can live in hope.
Margaret Bentley is a Salesian Sister and is currently the Academic Manager at the English Language Studies for Pastoral Ministry (ELSPM) begun by the Passionists in 2014 to enable their students to learn English before continuing to the Novitiate or theological studies.