A LITTLE WHILE.
I meet with someone who lost a spouse, parent, or sibling almost every week. I wish there were a magic word or phrase that would lift them from their grief. But unfortunately, our words can barely touch what the soul is experiencing through their tears. Those tears slowly but surely wash the sorrow away, but it takes “a little while.”
Notice in today’s gospel that Jesus does not tell his disciples that He will leave them for a “little while.” He said, “a little while, and you’ll no longer see me.” There is a vast difference between being away from the Lord and not seeing Him. Only our sin can drive the Lord away.
However, the death of someone close to us draws the Lord Jesus even closer to us in our suffering. I can see Him telling the disciples with tears in his eyes that they will not see Him. Even before they no longer see Him, he carries their grief and sorrow In His Heart. People with relatives in Hospice experience the same sorrow.
We cannot see Him, but it doesn’t mean He isn’t with us. Think of a child in isolation. Mom and dad want to hold the baby, but they can’t. Instead, they caress the baby even more in their hearts. The child cannot feel the embrace, but the day will come when the child is no longer in isolation. It will be a great day of rejoicing.
It takes “a little while” for the shock of losing someone to leave. But then, reality sets in as we begin to do things and live our lives without our loved ones. Slowly but with certainty, Jesus fills the emptiness in our hearts with hope.
Hope gives us strength in this journey in moments when the sadness returns. Finally, we begin to “see” that our loved ones are safe and sound with the Lord, and we are happy for them. One day we will be with them forever. “You too will rejoice,” Jesus promises.
IGNITE THE FIRE!
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC