Daily Reflection

Reflection - May 25, 2017

Geoffrey T. Mooney ’09, ’11 M.Ed.
Holy Cross Seminarian

I remember fondly the Class of 2014 at the Florida high school where I taught through ACE—they were seniors during my final year in the classroom.

These students entered as freshmen at the start of my second year of teaching, and we united over mutual inexperience. They arrived in my care as sophomores and we formed quite the battle-tested team as we conquered Algebra II together. We did not encounter each other frequently again until their senior year, when I had the privilege of collaborating with them on creating a new elective and organizing retreats.

What a difference a “little while” can make. We had all grown up in the interim, having gained self-confidence and developed clearer insight into how God was calling us to use our gifts. Rich discussions preceded our departures that spring as my students ventured off to universities near and far while I returned to Notre Dame to enter the seminary after my “little while” away.

Life is punctuated by a series of “little whiles,” some of presence and some of absence. We say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, perhaps because we more deeply appreciate those moments when we are present with the ones we love, however scattered we become over time. My students and I encountered each other anew that final school year. Time afforded us the opportunity to advance beyond our shared sophomoric tendencies, reflect on our identity, and see the talented individuals each of us had become, hopes and fears included.

Jesus also recognizes that his disciples need a “little while” to make sense of their journey. The day would come when they would no longer see him, but Jesus promises that presence will follow upon absence—an absence intentionally placed to orient them toward more glorious a presence. The Teacher will meet his students again, and the students will meet the Teacher—with minds open to explore and hearts yearning to love—all with a fresh perspective.