Homily for Tuesday of the 6th Week of Easter
I’m not sure if this is everyone’s experience, but there are times when someone can be sharing something with me when I realize that at some point I stopped listening to what they were saying because I started thinking about a past experience of my own. I kind of get drawn into my own little world and totally drown the other person out with the thoughts that fill my mind. I think many of us have experienced that at some point before. That’s kind of the feeling I get with the disciples in today’s Gospel.
Throughout much of the Easter season, we have been reading through the Gospel of John. Jesus is preparing His disciples for the inevitable…the time that He will no longer physically be in their presence. As Jesus is sharing these words, it’s almost as if they stop paying attention to Him, they stop hearing His words because they get lost in their own thoughts.
In this instance, they might be thinking about the previous times when they have failed to understand the fullness of Jesus’ message. Or maybe the times that they questioned the Lord. Whatever it is the disciples might have running through their minds, Jesus picks up on it; He realizes that something He said has caused them to be troubled.
Ultimately, I think the disciples were struggling to understand how they were going to be able to fulfill their own mission if Jesus were to physically leave them. We know that they didn’t do a very good job of it after Good Friday. Remember, they hid in the Upper Room for days. Despite knowing that would happen, Jesus is trying to give them a reassurance…that He will always be with them in and through the Holy Spirit, the Advocate.
Many of us have situations going on in our lives right now where we might be like the disciples, questioning why Jesus would leave us at this moment. We might get caught up in thinking we’re not ready for the challenges that lie ahead or that we’ll never get through whatever difficulty we’re facing. And yet, Jesus is stepping into that with us today and offering us a reassurance.
Even in those moments when He seems far from us, we always have Someone by our side, we always have the Holy Spirit to lean on and guide us. We always have an Advocate who is fighting for us and leading us to Jesus. May we be open to how the Holy Spirit is working in our hearts. May He lead us to Jesus and help us to recognize that even though He isn’t physically in our midst, that He never leaves our side, that He is our constant companion. We’re not alone. May we always hold onto that truth.