I am sure there has been at least one occasion, and probably more when a person we cared for, a person we loved, a person who was part of our life was leaving us.
- Someone moving away
- A child going to college
- Getting married
- The death of a relative or friend.
Moments that challenged us.
About 10 years ago, a friend of mine was nearing death, we’ll call her: Alice. Alice was one of those great people who lived life and lived her Faith. Diagnosed with Polio at age 14, her life as you might imagine was a bit more challenging than most. As an adult, crutches and then an electric wheel chair did not deter her from working full time in education; attending daily Mass; teaching Faith Formation; being on the Parish Council; adopting a child; being a great host at her home (and even the hospital); and caring for 3 dogs and 2 cats.
And we think we have it difficult.
One day I received a message that Alice wanted to see me. She was in the hospital. Seems Alice’s days here on Earth were few. I visited, we share some time together and then it was time to leave. We both knew that this would be the last time we would see each other for some time.
In some ways this is what Jesus is doing in today’s Gospel. Jesus is about to leave his Disciples. Jesus wants them to know and to remember that He would not abandon them… that they, with the Gift of the Holy Spirit, they would come to know of his ever abiding presence, especially in the Eucharist and his Peace.
This Peace of Christ is ours. And the only obstacle to knowing the Peace of Christ is an unwilling spirit and a wavering faith. Peace of mind and heart is present when we trust in Jesus. May we pray for and grow in trust for Jesus!
Our relationship with Jesus, who is not physically present, must carry us through the challenges of life and of faith. It is by our ongoing participation in the life of the Spirit that we are enlightened and our lives lifted up.
You know we all know an “Alice” or two in our lives, who has touch our lives for better. Who has modeled for us a life well lived, a live of faith, hope and love. An Alice who reminds us to do the same through our lives.
And so it is with Jesus. The life and work of Jesus needs to continue through you and me and us…
May our ever growing Faith lead us to an ever deepening living of our Faith that is center in the way, the truth and the life… Jesus Christ.