Jesus is Going Away–He Has Gone!

Jesus is Going Away–He Has Gone! May 18, 2023
Image by Joris Heise
The Good News for the Day, May 18, 2023
Thursday in the Sixth Week of Easter (294

The Gospel

What Jesus says–to them–and to You and Me.

Jesus says to people He inspires: “In a little while you won’t see me any longer—and then again—a little while later—and you will see me.”

The Problem

So some of his friends there muttered to each other, “What does this mean when He says this to us, ‘In a little while you won’t see me any longer—and then again—a little while later—and you will see me.’?
and He said: ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” So they asked, “What is this ‘little while’ He is talking about? We don’t know what he means.”

The Response of Jesus

Since Jesus knew that they would have liked to ask him, He said to them, “Are you ve wondering — muttering so much to each other—what I meant when I said, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’?
The fact is: you’re going to cry, to mourn—while the world is happy. You’ll grieve, but your grief will become joy.” (John 16)

Reflections of the Word of Jesus

Mature followers of Jesus see the difficulties in life

Followers of Jesus accept the contradictions, rhythms and mysteries that everyone encounters eventually in mature life. These include: Wars Happen. Friends Die. Spring Returns.
Beyond that lie encounters in the spiritual world—authentic surprises of insight, depressions—and the absence of God’s Presence, sudden spurts of faith that deepen you in unexpected ways.

We often do not know what is going on.

Much of the time, like the apostles, we do not know what is going on, even when we are clearly told. Moments of joy with a grave sense of foreboding, moments of depression with a mysterious sense that at the end will be a Rising from it.

The Permanent Life

There is a Permanent Life—what Jesus refers to as “eternal life.” In this passage, Jesus is appealing to that deep current of your soul—that permanence of faith and love, that commitment beyond time, that trust which is not affected— stuff beyond the moment.

The World around Us

As with Jesus, people around you are sometimes—often—apathetic or hostile to your good efforts. Your family may remain indifferent to your joy and creativity. Old him him friends may not be able to fathom the change in you and feel puzzled, argumentative, or silent towards this different person you are becoming.
Frustrated, you are tempted to respond in kind. Demand a solution. Demand a stop to what is going on. Foster a festering irritation and become passive-aggressive.

The Importance Here

Grieving Is As Much a Part of Life as Joy

No, Jesus says. Accept the now as part of the rhythm of Life. “I am going away,” he says, “and you will grieve,” He is telling that to them as well as to you and me.
Yes, Jesus HAS gone away in the flesh, and something in us resents that. We have some questions. We would like Him here. And on and on—frustrated.

A Deep, Permanent Faith Understands.

It is your permanent faith that washes away your irritation and resentment. Faith finds joy in the Passover into a new situation.
With joy, you and I accept the Spirit of Jesus as—in the end—of more value than living beside Jesus as a disciple.
The Spirit of Jesus matters…not the historical presence in that era.
A Footnote
(To be honest, I suspect that I would be just as slow, ignorant and reluctant to grasp His Teaching as they show themselves).

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