Sixth Sunday of Easter

In this Sunday’s Gospel reading, Jesus says to us, ‘I will not leave you orphans; I will come back to you.’ ‘I will not leave you orphans; I will come back to you.’

As this crisis drags on and many of us remain in lockdown, these words bring us hope. Because this situation has made orphans of all of us. Our normal supports have been taken from us, the certainty of our future has been clouded, and perhaps even fear has made its home with us. Yes, we have been orphaned by our situation. But Jesus speaks these sweet words into whatever situation we find ourselves in, ‘I will not leave you orphans; I will come back to you.’

Even in our destitution, our uncertainty, our fear and worry, the Lord Jesus comes to us and makes his home within us. Our God will not leave us alone in this situation, but he comes back to us to make his home within us. We may be separated from one another, but we are united with one another through Christ Jesus. We may feel alone, but we know that Jesus Christ is right there with us in the depths of our hearts. We might feel uncertain, but we know that with Jesus Christ as our rock and foundation we can weather any storm. We might feel afraid, but we have the God who conquered even death itself by our side as we face those fears.

I can tell you all this because that union with us, and with the Father is exactly what Jesus completed through his Resurrection from the dead. That is the life that we have entered through his victory, and that is the life that has been given to us through our baptism and by our living the life he dares us to live. As you stay at home and pray through this Mass, and, later on, as we receive that spiritual communion together, let us do it remembering the union we have with him and remembering the union we have with each other, and let us remember the union we have, through Jesus, with our loving Father.

Reflection from Fr. James Barber