2014/05/25 - Homily - 6th Sunday of Easter

attention open in a new window ImprimerE-mail

Shock by shock, step by step, 
into the presence of Christ.

A few weeks ago Jeanine died. She was going to be a hundred. Her life here on earth ended just one month before her birthday. I had known Jeanine when I lived in France and I visited her the last time I went to France.   I hadn’t realize that it was the last time I would see her.

She was very well prepared to go to heaven. Her faith was great. She irradiated her hope of meeting God face to face and seeing her husband again. She talked a lot about her departure: simply, easily, without fear. Despite her age, sadness entered the hearts of those who knew her as each separation is so painful.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is speaking to his disciples and to us as well. His is talking about his departure .His earthly life, his mission here are going to their end. His last supper among his disciples is full of emotion.

He had tried to reassure them, but l they were still frightened.

I can imagine their pain after the death of Jesus.  And of course their great joy after his Resurrection. They were shocked by his death with deep sorrow in their hearts, yet filled with the deepest joy after his resurrection.  The effect of his resurrection gave them great peace, courage and spiritual strength.

They were the witnesses of his death and his resurrection.  Witnesses of such a horrible death but fortunately also witnesses of his resurrection filled with such joy that they couldn’t remain silent.  

In our life we too experience the apostles’ feelings of shock. Often, we are shocked by death, and by other kinds of separation. 

In our faith we need to integrate Jesus’ promise concerning his presence in our lives. He is present in our assembly, and he will be present soon in the bread and wine as a sign of his everlasting life given for us.

As we say in the doxology prayer just before saying Our Father,” with him and in him”, we can live our sorrowful separations within his presence. We can put our desire, our hope to meet those we love again in Jesus.

Jesus prepared his disciples for the separation as best he could, telling them of another way to be in his presence. Despite this, they feared a lot, until they had understood by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit that Christ would be with them for the rest of their life.

For this reason they gathered frequently, each day, each week to build up their conscience of His presence and of the waiting for his coming again in glory.  Christ is present among us by his spirit, his body and blood, his totally shared love poured into us. And at the end of our  world he will come again in his divine glory.

The shock for the disciples was as intense as their conversion. I heard  a man saying with  tears running down his cheeks. « I have never felt anything quite like today, Christ’s love in his passion »

We too can experience real shocks in our lives. Some of them provoke an important, radical change in our lives. Some of them lead us to a genuine conversion.  Just like the Apostles:  step by step, shock by shock.