May 21, 2020 – Thursday of the 6th Week of Easter
Click here for the readings (http://cms.usccb.org/bible/readings/052120-day.cfm)
When a thing or a person becomes important, essential and vital in our life, we also find it hard to let go of it when time calls us to. Moreover, there are also cases when a thing or a person, or an experience, though not so important and vital in our daily existence, that it becomes inseparable from us. Thus, when it becomes so attached to us emotionally/psychologically, we find it then, so difficult to let go.
When I was already about 6 years old, I would still carry my baby bottle with me and drink any liquid – milk, coffee, water or soda out of that. Once, I brought it with me at school during my Kindergarten and then my older sister found it out. The next day as I searched for my baby bottle in its usual place, I could not find it. The baby bottle was gone. My sister threw it away. So cruel! 🙂
I was so mad and cried really hard for throwing that away. Perhaps, I thought the world was about to end at that time of losing my “dear baby bottle.” Yet, the day after that and the next day and the following days seemed to be just okay without that baby bottle.
Now, I realized, I must have been so attached to that baby bottle that letting go of it was surely difficult. In one way or another, others may find it challenging also those that have become so attached to them. These are not just limited with material things but also our dreams and aspirations in life, relationships and even our memories.
Thus, when we talk about letting go, we certainly find it difficult especially with those that we love so much or so attached to our emotions. Our basic tendency is to keep those closer to us because we do not like them to leave from us. That is why, when we are confronted with the reality of loss, then, we experience pain. It breaks our heart. We become anxious and fearful because life may not be the same.
As a response, we may refuse to let go and in the process become controlling, suffocating and manipulating particularly towards those people we do not want to let go. Moreover, we could become paranoid and obsessed because we continue to linger and attach ourselves with a painful memory, or to a material thing or in a desire.
What really is the concern here?
Going into the process of letting go and the letting go itself is what makes our life wonderful. It is in letting go that we actually find more life and express life, to find love and express love. This manifests grace and freedom in us.
This is what Jesus was asking from his disciples. The disciples who thought that they have lost Jesus when he was crucified rejoiced at his resurrection. However, when Jesus told them that soon, he will no longer be with but will go back to his father, the disciples also became anxious and fearful. They wanted to keep Jesus closer to them. The disciples believed that they were more confident if Jesus was nearby. They were not willing to let him go.
However, this is not what God wants. 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 closer to each one of us, closer than what we can imagine because Jesus will be in our hearts and minds.
Hence, the words of Jesus to his disciples, “A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me,” means that Jesus becomes ever present in each of us.
In this process of letting go of the Lord, then, the disciples also allowed God to work in them. This was how the early Church found grace and freedom in letting go.
Today, we are also asked to let go whatever is hindering us to encounter the Lord. We may ask ourselves, “What is it that I continue to linger? What is that attachment that I find difficult to let go for me to grow?”
In identifying these, let us also ask the grace to courageously let go of those that hinder us so that we may find the grace for more life, more love and freedom. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR