The Gospel according to John (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.”
Do you want to scream at the top of your lungs until you run out of breath? Does it fell like the tears will not stop falling because we keep re-living the same nightmare of human life being taken in ways that defy comprehension. I cannot see the faces of the children and teachers from Robb Elementary School in Texas without sobbing and feeling an ache deep in my soul. As with past similar tragedies we hear the uprising of voices trying to explain why this happens and how we can prevent this in the future. There is plenty finger pointing for not doing enough or anything at all to end this senseless cycle of death and destruction. Plenty are looking in many directions for answers and assurance that this ultimately will not happen to them.
Where is God in all of this? Right smack in the middle of everything. If we pull back from this most recent tragedy and look at our recent history and beyond, we will find a world that has normalized the taking of life, legally, in many ways. This is not even considering how many countless lives have been taken through all acts of a violent nature. Then, why after God sent his son to us did this not change. Why were we not changed? Because Jesus came to save us from an eternity without hope. And he did so by respecting our freedom to choose for ourselves what we want. No coercion, forcing, or tricks. The gift of life with all its pain and beauty.
Jesus tells his apostles that in a little while they will not see him and again in a little while they will. Jesus is talking about his death and resurrection and because of that he can also say what follows. Just like his disciples we weep and mourn for those we will no longer see but in a little while we will see them again. It is this hope that makes our pain bearable. Jesus says our grief will become joy. Grief will be our companion on this treacherous journey on our way home. In the meantime, let us individually and collectively do everything we can to help each other. We weep and mourn in the valleys and shout for joy on the mountain tops. We have a Father who loves us, a Brother who came to deliver us, and a Guide who will see us through it all. All the way home to the greatest reunion in all of existence.
Action of the Day:
Say a special prayer to help us through this difficult moment where we become susceptible to despair. Let us not fall prey to temptations of the devil to seek revenge in our hearts. Focus our energy on the love and light that the families need now and for the rest of their lives. Then call your family or someone special and tell them how much you love them.