Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter

In today’s Gospel, Jesus says, “I came from the Father and have come into the world.  Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

One can only imagine how the disciples are dealing with this message.  Jesus says that the disciples have come to believe that he had come from God.  However, they do not understand what Jesus’ departure means.

Sometimes we struggle to understand situations.  They can seem overwhelming.  Events seem to spin out of control.  We might seem powerless to stop them.  Some can hold their ground during the storm.  They somehow focus on the few things that they can do and let the others simply happen. 

Many of us are familiar with first part of the Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.

Some things we cannot control or change.  For the Apostles, Jesus’ Passion and death had to be one example where one feels caught in a crazy series of events for which the best you can do is simply witness what happens.

So often, we understand new things by relating them to what we have known or experienced before.  Jesus’ description of his return to the Father likely did not fit anything to which they could relate.  This inability to understand the end meant that it would be much more difficult to deal with the things that led up to that end.

Sometimes, we too, have to simply stand back and witness events happen.  They are out of our control.  We might be able to respond or react in some small way.  But this small way is not one that effects the events themselves, it just determines our own limited response to those events.

Our faith can be our rock in such instances.  We do not understand, but we trust in God.  We cannot change what is happening, but we know that God can.  And, even if God does not change certain events of this world, we have a belief that what is to come in the next is what is most important. 

When have we felt overwhelmed by happenings in our life or in our world?  Certainly, this pandemic is one example.  How has our faith been our rock in such times?