By Fr. Al Spilly, C.PP.S.
“I will not leave you orphans,” Jesus reassures his disciples at the Last Supper on the evening before his death. He says he will send them the Holy Spirit to guide their journey as they continue his mission and ministry in the world.
During this time of pandemic when most of us are not allowed to go to church to celebrate the Eucharist, Jesus’ words take on new, powerful meaning. The risen Lord is with us, within us, in our homes as well as in our churches. Moreover, we received the Holy Spirit in Baptism and Confirmation, the same Spirit that came upon the Samaritans when the apostles laid their hands upon the new converts. We are not alone. The love of God and neighbor binds us together as God’s holy people, even when we are physically at a distance from one another.
God has not abandoned us in this time of darkness and crisis. We are not orphans. The Good Shepherd guides us through the dark valley, leading us to green pastures and new life. The time of suffering and mourning will not last forever. As missionary disciples of the Lord, we are challenged to deepen our faith and trust God—to be signs of hope to a rapidly changing, dangerous world.
St. Peter urges us to make Jesus the Lord of our lives, the source of our hope. We are to show this hope by living in accord with God’s word, especially by loving one another as he has loved us, holding nothing back.
We look forward to the time when we will be able to gather again around the Lord’s table in our parishes even though that may have to be in new and creative ways. Meanwhile, the Lord is with us here and now!
To view all of the readings for today, click here.
Fr. Al Spilly, C.PP.S., lives at St. Charles Center in Carthagena, Ohio. He has taught Scripture at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and has given many Bible-based retreats and talks.