Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter
In our gospel acclamation today we hear - “I will not leave you orphans says the Lord. I will come back to you and your hearts will rejoice.” (Jn. 14:18). What a beautiful promise from the Lord - he will not leave us as orphans.
Yet, so often, in the midst of challenging situations, we seem to lose sight of this promise and we believe the Lord has abandoned us. Even when it is hard to see God in the midst of our suffering and our sorrow, God will not abandon us. God is there, with us.
In today’s gospel Christ speaks of this “little while” - this period of time in which the apostles will no longer see him and then in a “little while” they will see him again. I read this and I know what he is referring to in their immediate lives - his death and then his resurrection. But I wonder how this applies to us.
I can think of two ways this “little while” may be interpreted in our lives today. I can think of many moments in my life when I have felt the presence of Christ, then endured hardship or tragedy and felt like Christ was completely missing for a little while. In all of these situations there comes a moment when I look back and suddenly I see where Christ was throughout the trials. It takes me a little while but I usually see him again.
Additionally I think of our salvation history and how God is outside of time. Perhaps we are living in the “little while” right now. We are living in between the two comings of Christ, waiting to see him again in our world. Christ is with us in our weeping, in our mourning, in our sorrows, in our daily struggles. And he assures us - our grief will become joy.
At the end of the Gospel, we are told, “you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices.” I so often feel this sentiment. I feel saddened for the state of the world around us, while others rejoice that we have come so far and made incredible advancements - but at what cost? When we live with our eyes set on heaven and our sights set on eternity, the state of this world does make you weep, but we are told we are not orphans. We are not alone. Our grief will one day become joy.
- Amanda Grimm