Jesus’ going to the Father brings us profound peace
By Glen Argan
When Jesus declared during his Last Supper discourse, “If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father.” Going away?! Rejoice! “How could we rejoice that our beloved Jesus is going away?” they would have asked themselves.
Yet, one lesson of life is that letting a beloved friend or one’s child go from your arms is often an act of love. Allowing the beloved one to go away can be necessary for them to flourish. Holding them back can be an act of selfishness – treating my supposed friend or child as an object I want to control.
Still, in letting that person go free, your heart refuses to rejoice; you want to keep them near to you. But love means letting your baby who is now a young adult have their freedom so that they blossom and become the person they were meant to be.
Jean Vanier wrote, “What is true in regards to human friendship is particularly true in the friendship that bonds us to God. The presence of someone we love brings joy. We savour their presence. But their absence requires trust, hope and fidelity; it deepens the ‘well’ of our being.” (Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John, 254)
Jesus declares he is going to the Father because “the Father is greater than I.” Jesus is fully himself when he is united with the Father.
However, he consoles his disciples with the word that his gain is not our loss. His going to the Father, in fact, atones for the sins of humanity and enables us to share in divine life. The well of our being is deepened infinitely.
Jesus’ followers will have peace. Contrary to expectations, their hearts will not be troubled, and they will not be afraid. The peace they gain will be more than an absence of conflict or internal strife. It will be a positive peace gained when the Father and Jesus “come to them and make our home with them.” The Holy Spirit will give a peace by which we deepen our participation in all that Jesus has said and done.
Today, many spiritual seekers strive to find inner peace through Eastern religions or by techniques of mindfulness. But peace comes, not by adopting the right techniques, but through an encounter with a divine person. Jesus offers us that relationship with the Divine. He is the way, the truth and the life. All we need to do is to accept Jesus’ offer for the Father and him to make a home in our hearts.
Readings for Sunday, May 26, 2019, the Sixth Sunday of Easter
Acts 15.1-2, 22-29 | Psalm 67 | Revelation 21.10-14, 22-23
(For more articles like this, check out On the Threshold.)