May 30 – Thursday of the 6th Week of Easter
Jesus said to his disciples, “A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me.”
It is very difficult to let go of people especially of those whom you love so much. Our basic tendency is to keep those people close to us because we do not like them to leave us. That is why, when we are confronted with the reality of a person who is about to leave us, then, we experience pain of loss and separation.
This is what I have recently experienced when my father passed away. There is so much pain in me. A part of me cannot accept that Papa is no longer with us physically. A deep pain of loss and absence troubles my mind and heart until now.
Indeed, it is very difficult to think and accept that Papa is dead and now is buried. When my sister called me up on that Saturday evening of May 11 that Papa was being revived by the doctor, I could not accept it that it was happening. I could not cry because I did not know how to react. I prayed but it was as if my prayer was empty. I was afraid to pray and ask the Lord to heal Papa because the Lord might not hear me. I was even more afraid to ask Him to take away the suffering of Papa because of fear of losing him.
But when I called my sister again, Papa left us around 10pm. I did not cry because I could not. After that, I went down and said the mass for Papa. That evening I could not sleep and I could not cry either.
By Sunday morning, I have to get up and say the first and second Sunday masses. On my first mass at 6am, I broke down in the middle of my homily. At the Prayers of the Faithful, when I asked the people to pray for the passing of my Father, tears began to fall down from my eyes. I was crying because I was in pain. Yet, I offer honestly everything to God who has been so good and faithful to us. I thought I could not finish that mass.
As I have pronounced every word in the prayer of consecration and prayed for the eternal rest and joy of Papa, slowly I have also accepted that Papa has died and has joined the Lord. That was my only consolation. Papa is with God where there will be no more suffering, no more pain and sadness but joy and peace.
I have to let him go even though it was painful for me. I have to offer him back to God in that sacrifice of the mass and become confident that Papa is in good hands of the Lord.
With all of this, it reminds me of Jesus’ invitation of letting go. His disciples wanted to keep him close to them. The disciples believed that they were more confident if Jesus was nearby. They were not willing to let him go again. Jesus died and thought that he had abandoned them already. At his resurrection, they wanted Jesus to stay with them.
However, this is not God wanted. Jesus had to go so that he will be able to join and be one with his Father in heaven. It will only be in this way that Jesus will be able to bring us closer to the Father. By returning to the Father, Jesus will open a way for us to the heart of the Father. By this also, Jesus will become ever close to each one of us, closer than we can imagine because Jesus will be in our hearts and minds.
I am invited to let go of my Papa and accept that he is no longer with us physically. However, we in our family are being consoled also that Papa is ever more present in our hearts and minds today.
Thus, each of us too, today, is invited to let go of whatever that may hinder us from encountering the Lord and accepting Him in our hearts and minds. In letting go, we may let God come closer and ever present in us. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR