Comforting Presence

25 May 2017
Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter
The Gospel Today
Jn 16: 16-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
“A little while and you will no longer see me,
and again a little while later and you will see me.”
So some of his disciples said to one another,
“What does this mean that he is saying to us,
‘A little while and you will not see me,
and again a little while and you will see me,’
and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?”
So they said, “What is this ‘little while’ of which he speaks?
We do not know what he means.”
Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them,
“Are you discussing with one another what I said,
‘A little while and you will not see me,
and again a little while and you will see me’?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.”

Reflection (Sem. Justin G. Gatus)

When I was a child, I had separation anxiety. I used to cry every time my father or my mother would leave me in school. I always want them by my side. I want to see them even just outside the window. I felt comfortable whenever they were with me. But, as all parents must do, they must go back home after sending their children to school. And so, when I cannot see them anymore, I began to sob and cry. Then during the dismissal, I felt very relieved and elated at the same time seeing my parents. I was asked by my father, “Why are you always crying whenever we send you to school?” As a young boy, I could not give them a reasonable answer. But deep in my heart, I cried because I felt I was alone. I felt comfortable just seeing them outside the window. I didn’t feel alone, scared, and worried if I just see them. Maybe I can say now that I cried back then because I always wanted to feel their comforting presence.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus comforts His disciples that even though they will weep and mourn, that weeping and mourning will turn into joy. Jesus will return to the Father and leave His disciple but He will still be present through the Holy Spirit, who is also known as the Consoler. In our lives, there are times when we have to depart or be left by someone we love. It is always a painful experience to say goodbye. In times when we feel that we are alone, we just have to remember that we have the Holy Spirit by our side to console us and help us make it through, until we come to the time when our waiting is over. The Holy Spirit will remain with us always to turn our moments of sadness into joy, until we can feel again the comforting presence of someone who left us for a while.

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