6th Sunday of Easter Year C - 1/5/2016 - Gospel: Jn 14:23-29
New way to connect
Unification and separation is a reality of life and no one can escape from it. We all learn how to welcome friends and how to say goodbye. Every goodbye brings hope with the promise that one day we will meet again. It is hard enough to say goodbye to someone whom we love and it is even much harder to say farewell to someone whom we love dearly when that person departs from this world. Sadly, it does happen especially when it happens unexpectedly which breaks our heart. What remains are the memory and the memorabilia. This is the experience Jesus' Apostles were struggling with after the death of Jesus. The Apostles lived in fear and were in hiding. The appearance of Jesus restored their faith again. They were filled with joy and full of life. They would hope that Jesus would stay with them forever but Jesus had another plan. He needs to return to God the Father and they themselves are witnesses for the Risen Christ. Without the Risen Christ amongst them the Apostles lived not in despair and isolation but in hope and active in their mission.

When you love someone so much, before your departure you would like to leave something behind as a memorial for the special occasion. Your gift serves as a reminder of your love and friendship you have for them. Before the Passion and after returning to the Father, each time Jesus gave the Apostles a gift and the Apostles pass on the gift to those who believe in Jesus. The two special gifts that Jesus gave acted as if Jesus Himself is with them and with those who follow Him. The first gift that Jesus gave them before His Passion is the gift of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper. He gave them His Sacred Body and Blood. After the Passion the Risen Christ gave the Apostles the gift of His Spirit. The Sacred Body and Blood serve as spiritual nourishment for our soul and the Spirit serves as the heart of the lives of Christians and of our mission. The gift of the Spirit would help the Apostles to overcome fear and grief as they previously experienced the harsh treatment of the authority. Furthermore the gift of the Spirit is always available for consultation through fervent prayers. Through regular prayers we feel that Jesus journeys with us daily even though He is invisible to our eyes.

When there is a loved one in our family who passes away, we feel that nothing can fill the emptiness in our heart. We rely on the ability to survive and recall the good things of that person. Before the resurrection of Jesus the Apostles felt very much the same but after meeting the Risen Christ the feeling of emptiness in their hearts was simply no more. Christ alone can fill our hearts with His gift of the Spirit and that fills our hearts with God's peace. The peace the world loves to have but it can't offer. The Apostles were not only survived but lived joyfully in their mission. The Risen Christ healed their broken hearts and the Spirit guides them in their works. The Apostles now know that the Spirit of Jesus is with them and Jesus Himself Who is with the Father would be their advocate and one day they certainly will see Jesus again.