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"I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world."

Those words from today's Gospel are both troubling and comforting. Jesus does not mince words or sugar-coat what is to come. He tells us life is tough. But that is okay. He has paved the way. While it is tough, it is doable. He is with us. His grace sees us through. He is both our strength and our protection.

So how do you communicate that to your children? With a few miles on my treads, I have seen how hard life can be. I have faced my share of challenges and know that there will certainly be more challenges in my future. Teens and young adults, on the other hand, are bullet proof and immortal. All loose ends are wrapped up and all obstacles surmounted by the time the television show, movie, or book ends. They seem stunned when life is messy and there is no satisfactory conclusion to the story. Somehow, "offer it up" doesn't sound very helpful and "just pray about it" seems too passive. They want to do something. They want to fix something. They want action.

Three of my four children are transitioning as college or high school ends. Each will have his own distinct set of trials and triumphs. Triumphs are easy to celebrate. But what about the trials? Are they ready? I guess there really is nothing more to say than what Jesus said: "In the world you will have trouble, but take courage. I have conquered the world." Trust Him. He's got your back.

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