23 May 2017
Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
The Gospel Today
Jn 16: 5-11
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Now I am going to the one who sent me,
and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’
But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts.
But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.
For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.
But if I go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes he will convict the world
in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation:
sin, because they do not believe in me;
righteousness, because I am going to the Father
and you will no longer see me;
condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”
Reflection (Sem. Rodel D.O. Aclan)
In the Gospel today, Jesus had to leave the apostles whom He was always with for three years during His public ministry. The life of the apostles revolved around Him and in following his teachings. The apostles were already secured with Jesus as their master, teacher and friend. But Jesus had to leave them for their own good.
I remember the scene of our family in the parking area of Ninoy Aquino International Airport more than a decade ago. Everybody was sad, all teary- eyed. That was the time of my departure going abroad to work. At that time, I felt the reality of the pain and sadness of being separated from my family and friends and the way of life that I was used to. The promise of a better life did not shield us from the sadness of being separated from each other. But, I had to leave for our own good.
If we ask the Filipino workers abroad of why they are working far away, separated from their families, majority of them would say that they want to give a good life for their family; this means a decent house, sending children to schools and to afford the daily needs of their family.
At first, it looks like their intention is only to satisfy the economic needs of the family, but , I realize, as I had experienced it, the true reason is love. The material benefits are only manifestations of that love. A love that is willing to suffer and endure the pain of being separated from his or her loved ones.
Jesus left the apostles not as an act of abandonment but rather an act of love. It was only the through the guidance of the Holy Spirit that they will be able to fully understand the mysteries that Jesus had shown and done when He was with them. He left them for their own good.