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Time to Leave
6/1/2022 Wednesday Gospel Reflection
This past weekend my parents made a six-hour, impromptu journey to Virginia to be with my family. We had had a rough week of what St. Paul describes as “the savage wolves coming among us” and when my parents heard we needed reinforcements, they were there. They came to listen, they came to feed us, to encourage us, to clean, to take walks with the kids, and to let us sleep so that we could recharge after the spiritual battle. This act of love and self-giving helped us know we weren’t alone. Then they left for home, commending us to God.
Both of the readings talk of this familial love within the Body of Christ. In the first reading, it was Paul whose tears and admonishing held together the Church of Ephesus, but it is God and “His gracious word” (Acts 20:32) that was to build them up and sustain them after he left. For Jesus, he set the stage. Before his Glorious Ascension, he prepared his disciples through prayer, commending them to God: “Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.” (Jn 17:17) Then he returned to the Father.
This is what we are called to do. We are called to build up our own families and our Church and give them the support they need. We are to love them and “admonish them with tears” (Acts 20:31) until we are called home to be with the Father in Heaven. This is our hope and the promise of God that has perpetuated the Church and our Holy Families for 2,000 years. So let us remember our task of love and pray with the faith that has been handed down through the centuries, “Holy Father, keep them in your name.” (Jn 17:11)