Homily by Deacon Jay Ziolkowski

“Peace I leave you.  Let not your hears be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  These are some very moving words that were spoken by Jesus when he said them to his disciples in today’s gospel passage.  How comforting it must have been to the disciples to hear this, for the peace that Christ was giving came from a man who had confronted Satan, performed countless miracles and was always calm, even in a raging storm. 

When I continued to read the rest of the Gospel, I was surprised to find Satan described as the “ruler of the world” (John  14:30).  For now, he it appears Satan does.  Don’t we notice this world isn’t what it should be?  Doesn’t it give us pause, or cause us to fear?  

For now, Satan is roaming the earth and posing as the ruler.  Our own evil desires give birth to sin.  Along with our own sinful hearts.   

Satan has caused strife, heated arguments, wars  and people’s hearts to turn against one another and against God.  Then we have the world that is in the midst of this global Covid pandemic.  Constitutional rights to free speech and religious rights suspended or even abrogated. 

Satan appears to be the ruler of the world.  But the key word here is “appears”.  

As Jesus also said in John’s Gospel: “Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out. When I am lifted up I will draw all men to myself.”

As St. Paul said in his epistle to Galatians 1:4: “Jesus gave his life for our sins just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from the evil in the world in which we live.” 

Why do I say that Satan is only the temporary ruler of this world?  Because the Bible tells us that Satan’s end has already been determined in the Book of Revelation 20:10-15: “The devil was thrown into the lake of fire and  brimstone where the beast and the false prophets were and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” 

English theologian and historian Thomas Fuller in 1650 said that “the darkest hour is just before dawn”. But for true peace and comfort we turn to scripture. In  John 16:33 “Jesus said: “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”