During this period between Ascension and Pentecost, when the Church is “waiting” for the coming of the Holy Spirit, we are reminded that the Holy Apostles were anxious about the wait. We must keep in mind they thought the coming of the Messiah would mean the end to their suffering. They thought (this explains Judas’ fervor for rushing the process) that the oppression from the Romans would end now that Christ had arrived. They were wrong, and they were anxious.
Before Jesus ascended to His Throne He, “commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father.” (Acts 1.4) But they waited long enough, they must have thought. Just as they were getting their courage to live the new life He laid out for them, now that they had witnessed His glorified and resurrected Body, NOW they had to sit and wait! Take a moment and read today’s Gospel lesson below.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us that all the waiting, all the struggle, all the current pain of life is only temporary. We will see Him again. We will live with Him in heaven. He will restore us fully in the resurrection. It is just a little while….in eternal terms. That’s the struggle as I see it. Christ laid out a life for us. It is a life of struggle, a life of patience and endurance. I will seem like “forever” that we wait for the struggle to be over, but once it is over we will rejoice with Him in heaven.
The Lord said to his disciples, "All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. A little while, and you will see me no more; again a little while, and you will see me." Some of his disciples said to one another, "What is this that he says to us, 'A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me'; and, 'because I go to the Father'? " They said, "What does he mean by 'a little while'? We do not know what he means." Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him; so he said to them, "Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, 'A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me'? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she is delivered of the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being is born into the world. So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day, you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name." – John 16.15-23