Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
May 27, 2020
Today, in Mercy, Jesus and Paul continue their heart-wrenching farewell addresses.
We’ve become accustomed to the passages and may read them without much emotional investment, but honestly they are real “weepers” – like movies where you have to bite the edge of your popcorn cup to keep from sobbing out loud.
Look at Acts, for example, and put yourself in the scene:
When Paul had finished speaking
he knelt down and prayed with them all.
They were all weeping loudly
as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him,
for they were deeply distressed that he had said
that they would never see his face again.
Then they escorted him to the ship.
The verses from John are not quite so emotional, but picture yourself being prayed over like this. You sense that this is really a final blessing. You know these may be some of Christ’s last words you will ever hear.
Holy Father, keep them in your name
that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.
As we pray with today’s scriptures, we are reminded that goodbyes are awfully hard. We need to mourn them within a community of faith lest our hearts break from their weight.
So many of us, in these sorrowful times, feel that deep longing. We need to tell one another the stories of our loved ones, to sing together our belief in eternal life, to prove that we can still laugh with old memories, to cry at the sight of one another’s tears.
But in an atmosphere of overwhelming loss, the pandemic has denied us this kind of faith-supported mourning.
Someday, we will gather as we once did. Together, we will pick up the fabric of our common life and finger the places where it has thinned with the passings of our beloveds.
Until then, let us take great hope in the core of Jesus’s message today:
Father, now I am coming to you.
I speak this in the world
so that those you have given me
may share my joy completely.
All that we love, and may seem to have lost, is preserved and transformed – complete and joyful – in the infinite love of God.
We too can be there in our prayer. We may be shaken by loss, but we are confident in faith. We know and believe that we are all kept in God’s Name.
Music: Aaronic Benediction – Misha and Marty Goetz