But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them. “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts.
Words of Hope
This passage reminds me of the adage, “you never know what you have until it’s gone.”
Perhaps the disciples took Jesus for granted. Never imaging he would go away, even though he told them he would several times. They were happy to have him with them and that seemed good enough.
I have had many times in my life where I was content with my situation. A rewarding job, a good relationship, dear friends and family around all the time. Yet all of could change in an instant. Jobs go away. Relationships end. Friends and family leave or die.
We can lament the loss and grieve for a time, but it is all too easy to become stuck in that place. Unable to move forward. Unable to get over the loss.
There is a place for grief and mourning, for lost people and lost opportunities. I am reminded of my Jewish upbringing where after a loved one dies you are expected to “sit Shiva” for them. Shiva is a period of 7 days where the family or friends of the loved one who has dies gather and sit together. There are prayers, the mourners Kaddish, but there is also food brought by friends. It is a gathering where the departed is remembered with stories and anecdotes and generally a low key celebration of their life. Afterward, it is traditional to go on a walk together. This symbolizes entering back into the world and is a gentle way to restart life.
It’s as if Jesus is telling his followers to remember how good they have it and how good things can and will be. It is now up to them to carry out His mission and bring heaven to earth.
That too, is our mission. To keep moving on with our lives and make them and the world as good as we possibly can.
Exalted and hallowed be God’s great name
in the world which God created, according to plan.
May God’s majesty be revealed in the days of our lifetime
and the life of all — speedily, imminently,
To which we say: Amen.