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Gospel

Editor’s note: Most of the Church in America will observe the feast of the Ascension of the Lord on Sunday, but Catholics in the dioceses of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Omaha, and Philadelphia celebrate the feast of the Ascension today. FaithND will mark the Ascension on Sunday, but you can read Sunday's Gospel reflection for the feast of the Ascension of the Lord here. Follow this link to see images from the place in the Holy Land where Jesus ascended to heaven.

Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter
JN 16:16-20


Jesus said to his disciples, “A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me.” 

Then some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying to us, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” They said, “What does he mean by this ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 

Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Are you discussing among yourselves what I meant when I said, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’? Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy.”
Gospel citations come from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Reflection

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.

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Prayer

Father Brad Metz, CSC

Eternal and ever-living God, you created daylight from darkness and ordered the sun, moon, and stars to guide us through time into your eternal salvation. Help us to always trust in you even when others reject your Word. May we find sustenance in your saving power and praise you joyfully throughout the seasons of life. In a little while, grant that we will see you face-to-face and in your light know the fullness of life forever, you who live and reign with the Son and Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

Saint

Pope St. Gregory, you died in exile for seeking justice and righteousness above everything else, pray for us!