The WORD in Other Words by Fr Elmer Ibarra SVD (Australia) for Tuesday 6th Week of Easter
In my more than eleven years of mission in Australia and New Zealand, on two occasions I had to say goodbye. The first was when I left St. Patrick’s Parish in Wellington, New Zealand after more than six years on this my first assignment in the Australia Province. The second was leaving Mary, Mother of the Church Parish in Macquarie Fields in Western Sydney after almost three years serving as vocations director there. While saying goodbye was not easy, it was good for myself and for those to whom I said goodbye. Both of us needed something new in our lives.
In today’s gospel, Jesus is saying goodbye to his apostles. Jesus knows that there will be grief among his disciples upon his impending departure. Yet he tells them that his leaving will be for their good, that after he leaves the Holy Spirit will descend on them to guide the early church. The Holy Spirit continues to guide his church until the end of time.
In our lives, we may have experienced a few goodbyes as well, maybe because we have to move to another province, city or even country for greener pastures. Some of our loved ones may have to tragically say good-bye because of sickness and death. Yet with every goodbye there must always be something good to look forward to, new opportunities, new horizons, and new openings. Hopefully, when somebody or if we ourselves have to say goodbye, while it would be sad because of the parting, it must also provide us with optimism that there will always be something good that God has in store for us.
– Fr. Elmer I. Ibarra, SVD (Sydney, Australia)