Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter
(Acts 18:1-8; John 16:16-20)
A sixteen year-old girl was taken to the hospital last week. She was complaining of a headache that would not go away. The medical personnel tested her for the Corona-19 virus. She didn’t have it, yet two days later she died. How great the grief of her family! Words are not able to express the sudden loss of a young life. Jesus is preparing his disciples for such an experience in today’s gospel.
The disciples display confusion over what Jesus is saying. They cannot register that Jesus is about to be sacrificed for the salvation of the world. They see him as a man at the height of his powers. In their eyes he is ready to claim his position as King of Israel. Now Jesus tells them that they soon will be mourning his loss. And then, not much after that, they will rejoice at his return.
We know that Jesus is referring to his death and resurrection. We should glimpse that he is also referring to our death and resurrection as well. Those who commit themselves to the Lord in Baptism – he assures us – will have eternal life with him at death. The mother of the sixteen year-old who recently died need not think her daughter is lost forever. She can hope to cherish her again in Jesus’ resurrection.