Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor. 27 “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say: ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people[d] to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to
Dear sisters and brothers,
“Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.” This is the key sentence of this mysterious passage in the gospel of John. These words touch my heart. These words touch my heart looking at a world so much wounded. “The ruler of the world will be driven out.” I so much yearn for these words to become true! When Jesus speaks about the ruler of the world, he speaks about all those powers of sin, of destruction, of death, which pull the world down. All these powers, who poison human social life. All these powers, who celebrate death instead of fostering life. Yes, they rule the world in so many ways.
These powers spread the fog of indifference into our hearts. 20.000 people die every day because they do not have enough food or medication, even though there is enough of everything on this globe. “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.” The powers of destruction cease and every one can live in dignity! Oh, how much do I yearn for these words to become true!
We are experiencing wars all over the world. A war not even a thousand miles away from here, which has led to so many deaths of civilians and of soldiers. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to so many tears, so much despair of mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, of children who have all lost their loved ones. And those who desperately try to defend themselves have no other means than to fight back with weapons. In the end the powers of evil triumphantly celebrate their victory in destroying the rule of civility, of kindness, of mutual understanding, of love.
“Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.” The weapons end up in garbage. Swords are turned into plowshares. All fear, all hatred, all violence is overcome. And peace and justice kiss each other. Oh, how much do I yearn for these words to become true!
We see the powers of destruction at work in the poisoning of the air, in the massive loss of biodiversity, in the acceleration of global warming. These powers block our hearts and minds from growing into a new understanding of a good life, which honors the dignity of non-human creation and allows a fair share of natural resources to all people on this earth.
“Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.” The Ruach, the spirit of creation will spread everywhere. The butterflies are coming back. We shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth in singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Oh, how much do I yearn for these words to become true!
Dear sisters and brothers,
In this situation of the world, so uncertain, so vulnerable, it is crucial, it is decisive, it is life-saving that we completely trust: Jesus has overcome the powers of destruction. Those who love their life under the power of the ruler of this world will lose it, and those who hate this life will keep it for eternal. The future belongs to lives renewed in the spirit of Jesus. Jesus says: “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.”
We all know, dear sisters and brothers, that it has happened. Jesus has been lifted up from the earth. And Jesus will draw all people to himself. We will never surrender to the powers of destruction because we know that they have been already defeated, and that their surrender will become visible in this world.
When we pray, when we talk with God, when we experience God‘s love, and God‘s power in our hearts, when we as people from all over the world feel unity in Christ, then, we feel the truth of Jesus’ words: the ruler of this world will be driven out. We are engaging for justice, peace, and the integrity of creation, because we trust in these words, we completely trust in these words, and we feel in our souls, that in this spirit, the forces of destruction have lost their power.
Fear turns into confidence. Woundedness grows into healing. Despair turns into hope.
When we go home after this experience of community as brothers and sisters in Christ we go renewed as children of God knowing that Jesus will draw all people to himself, and that the peace which we experience now will be the piece of the whole cosmos. Faith, love and hope will transform the world!
May the peace of the Lord will be with us now and forever. Amen.