In today’s Gospel, Jesus says “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world." Time and again, Jesus tells His followers to expect difficulty and struggle in the world. The world is the kingdom and dominion of the fallen ones. It represents the order of those powers, principalities, people, and systems opposed to God.
We should be wary when things are going well for us in the world. It means that either we are not doing things God’s way or that our opponents are operating in a subtle manner. We must not be fooled into thinking there is some safe quarter within the world. However, we do not need to walk on eggshells. We do not need to be anxious about when the shoe will drop. We can trudge on circumspectly. The proper attitude of the Christian life is one of the virtuous mean.
The Christian knows their pilgrimage is a trail of tears. They know that life gives fleeting glimpses of heaven. And we know, as the Gospel today says, that Jesus has overcome the world. The system of evil and death is in its waning days.
We cannot see far from our vantage point; thus, we cannot always see clearly how Christ has conquered. Yet, if we look closely, the signs of His victory come into focus. We see the newly baptized coming into the Kingdom. We experience the forgiveness of our sins. We nourish our famished souls in the Holy Eucharist. We elevate our souls to God when we hear the music of the heavens. We sing with the angels and saints “holy, holy, holy.” The victory of Christ is evident if we look for it by its own phosphorescent-like illumination, and not by the dingy bulb of the world.