May 17, 2020: Sixth Sunday of Easter
Reading: John 14: 15 – 21
(Translation from The Message – The Bible in Contemporary Language: Eugene H. Peterson)
Jesus said to his disciples, “If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and he will provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you! I will not leave you orphaned. I’m coming back. In just a little time the world will no longer see me, but you’re going to see me because I am alive and you’re about to come alive. At that moment you will know absolutely that I’m in my Father, and you’re in me, and I’m in you. The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him.”
Saying goodbye, for no matter how brief a time, almost always is coupled with a reassurance of some kind. I won’t be gone long. I’ll call you when I get there. Don’t worry; I have my cell phone. See you soon. I love you.
In this week’s gospel reading, Jesus prepares his followers for when he will say goodbye to them. Like our goodbyes to loved ones, Jesus reassures his friends that this goodbye to them is not a final goodbye.
“The Father will provide you with another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. I will not leave you orphaned. I’m coming back. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him.”
Reassurance of any kind is a priceless and comforting gift. It is a gift Jesus gave to his friends and a gift he holds out to us. Let’s open our hands and our hearts to recognize this gift so often offered to us.
Every day we say goodbye to someone or someone says goodbye to us. Keep track of the assurances you offer when saying goodbye. Keep track of the assurances others offer you when they say goodbye. It might help to write them down as they happen. Take a little time to give thanks for these gifts of reassurance.