The Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father. (John 16:27-28)
The words of Jesus in today’s passage from Saint John’s Gospel, “I am leaving the world and going back to the Father,” are timely in light of tomorrow’s Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, observed in most of the United States on the Seventh Sunday of Easter rather than on the traditional day, Thursday.
Jesus begins by saying, “The Father himself loves you. . . .” This is something we must remember above all when we struggle with doubt and sin. The Father loves us because we are made in the divine image. The Father loves us because we receive his word in faith and seek to walk in its wisdom and light. The Father loves us because we want to fulfill his commandments and honor our covenant of life and love. But the Father loves us, especially because we love his Son and have come to believe that he came from the Father.
Kahlil Gibran, the author of The Prophet, reflective of Middle Eastern religious philosophy, wrote: “If you love someone, let them go. . . .” The tendency in human relationships is to cling to what has been and is rather than free the other to allow the bond to take on new richness. The risen Lord told Mary Magdalene, “Do not cling to me” (John 20:17). In letting go, we receive Christ’s great gifts, the Holy Spirit, and the Eucharist, expressions of his enduring love for us.
Have you experienced moments when letting go of an understanding of Christ has brought you to an even deeper knowledge and love of him?
Let us pray:
Lord Jesus, I love you with all my heart. Thank you for showing your love continuously in the intimacy of your Eucharistic presence. Amen.
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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