an unbearable relationship
"I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now." —John 16:12
If someone told you he had more to tell you but that you couldn't stand to bear it, how would you feel? You would wonder what this mysterious, presently unendurable revelation is. After Jesus put His disciples in this situation, He told them the Spirit of truth would come to them and guide them to all truth (Jn 16:13). The Spirit of truth does not primarily mean the Spirit of accurate information but the Spirit of true, faithful, committed relationships. This gives us a hint concerning the revelation Jesus' disciples could not endure at that particular time.
Jesus may have been suggesting that His disciples would soon be led by the Spirit into an unthinkable relationship. The most unthinkable and unendurable relationship for a Jew would be as a brother or sister of Gentiles. Within a few months, Jesus removed the barrier of hostility between Jews and Gentiles (Eph 2:14). He made the two into one body, one family (see 1 Cor 12:13).
Is Jesus about to unite you with your enemies, with people of another race, with the poor and marginalized, or with those of another denomination? You may not be able to bear the thought of such a relationship now, but the Spirit of truth will guide you.
Prayer: Father, in the future make me holy through relationships presently unbearable to me.
Promise: "He has set the day on which He is going to 'judge the world with justice' through a Man He has appointed — One Whom He has endorsed in the sight of all by raising Him from the dead." —Acts 17:31
Praise: Pope St. Pius V wrote: "God never ceases to provide the human race with consolations in misfortune."
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet The Truth Will Set You Free.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 23, 2007
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