Leave-taking

Have you ever said goodbye to someone?

When I had my Clinical Pastoral Exposure at San Juan de Dios Hospital two years ago, I witnessed a heart-breaking scenario inside the Intensive Care Unit: a woman filled with tears and in grief, kneeling beside her dead brother’s body, hugging him tightly, expressing her love for him, and saying her last farewell.

Saying goodbye to someone in this way can be very important for each of us. Whether it is a family member, a friend, or a collaborator, we may also feel a strong desire to say a final farewell to someone who has died or is nearing the end of life. Some of us could be fortunate to be given the chance to do so while the other person is still with us, but sometimes the opportunity is missed because of an unexpected death.

In our gospel today, Jesus is preparing to leave His disciples, as He would be going back to the One who sent Him, the Father. Maybe some of the disciples could not accept what Jesus told them. Perhaps some could not imagine a life without Him, whom they considered their leader, teacher and friend. However, Jesus assured His disciples that they should not be worried because He will send the Holy Spirit to guide them and be with them throughout their life’s journey.

Death is cruel sometimes, especially when it is sudden. However, the inevitability of death makes our life meaningful. It will make us live a purposeful life. Thus, the gospel challenges us to follow the example of Jesus while we still live in this world. Let us do good that will remain forever in the minds and hearts of the people around us, and avoid doing evil things that could separate us from God. Let us always ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and give us the courage to face the daily battles of our life.

By: Sem. Roldan B. Baliano

Today’s Gospel

Jn 16:5-11

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Now I am going to the one who sent me,
and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’
But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts.
But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.
For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.
But if I go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes he will convict the world
in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation:
sin, because they do not believe in me;
righteousness, because I am going to the Father
and you will no longer see me;
condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”

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