God Never Leaves Us

John 16: 5-11
Acts 16:22-34 / Psa 138

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.
(John 16:7)

Even in His absence Jesus
Assures us of His protection;
Now His Holy Spirit frees us
From perdition to salvation.

(Jesus said), “Now I am going to Him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ “Because I told you (I am leaving) 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. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” (John 16:5-11)

Reflection

Sometimes separation from the person we love and depend on may be necessary in order for us to grow strong and become independent. The apostles had become so attached to their Master that they had left everything to follow Him. Now the Lord Jesus was telling them that He would be leaving them soon to go back to the Father Who sent Him. One can only imagine how traumatic those moments must have been to the apostles, who felt that they were about to be orphaned.

I recall a similar case with my younger brother, who was small in stature when we were still young students in an all-boys high school. His insecurity was allayed by his big brother, who protected him from the bullies in their classes, and was content to keep a low profile “under the wing” of his older brother (who happened to be the biggest bully in school). When we proceeded to college in Manila (the big city), our father decided to separate us; I would take up journalism, and my younger brother pre-med in another school two hours away by bus. His pleas to be with me in college fell on my father’s deaf ears. Being concerned about his welfare, I would visit him almost every Saturday to alleviate his loneliness and insecurity. But now on his own, he enlisted in his school’s advanced officers’ training program, and became their ROTC’s corps commander. Our father’s wise decision became evident many years later when my brother became a successful doctor-businessman, who now runs his own hospital.

Before my wife and I joined a renewal community, we never realized how important Jesus Christ was in our life. At present, however, we have seen that His absence would create a huge void that we can never live with. Today, we thank God for His great love and the presence of His Holy Spirit in our lives! Our Savior Jesus may not be with us physically, but we have the hope of His promise that we will join Him one day in the Father’s kingdom. In fact, with the Holy Eucharist and the Word of God that we share, He is already in our midst!

Lord Jesus, the only time we feel Your absence is when we lose our trust in You, or when we fall into sin. Have mercy on us, dear God, and never let us be separated from You. Grant that we may always stay under the guidance of Your Holy Spirit; remind us to always immerse ourselves in Your Word, that we may remain steadfast and faithful to God’s will. Amen.

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