Here the question is about the short amount of time while Jesus will be gone to the Father. Perhaps this refers to the time between Jesus’ death and his resurrection or possibly the time between his ascension and Pentecost.
Later in the same chapter Jesus says “I came from the Father … and now I leave the world to go to the Father.” (New Jerusalem Bible) The disciples claim they now understand; but then the Lord informs them that soon they will be scattered in fear only to be converted later.
This brief description of the apostles’ fickleness but eventual conversion can be the outline of so many of our own lives. The Lord is lovingly present to us all in spite of our lack of faith. But his love and grace helps us through our periods of selfishness to choose again to follow Jesus.
Today is the 93rd anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady to the three shepherd girls from Fatima. The revelations of Mary to them were given to remind all of us that Jesus is full of mercy and ready to help us change our lives if only we try.
Today also is the 29th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s assassination attempt. He already had a strong devotion to Mary but after his injury from the gun shots he stated that it was through Our Lady of Fatima’s intercession that he recovered.
Just as Jesus warned the apostles of their lack of faith but then gave them the grace of conversion, so also Pope John Paul II showed the watching world that forgiving others must be part of our Christian living.
The psalm’s refrain today is “The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.” How clearly this is shown in the gospel story – and even in the recent historical incident of Mehmen Ali Agca’s assassination attempt of the pope on May 13, 1981.
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