The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

4th Week of Easter

Fri, 05/01/2015
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

I know there are widows and widowers among us this morning….
your spouses have gone to their eternal reward after years of marriage and loving relationship.
I know there are among us….sons and daughters who have buried parents,
brothers and sisters who have buried siblings,
and mothers and fathers who have been separated by death from a son or a daughter.
These separations trouble us.  Just recalling the memories of our togetherness
brings sorrow, feelings of distress, tears of sadness.
We become attached to people so much so that they become part of us, part of our lives.
Being separated from them is not our choice; neither is it their choice.
It is forced upon us by circumstances beyond our control.
We don’t understand.  We feel robbed, cheated, victimized.
And even if we did understand, this knowledge wouldn’t lessen our grief.
Loving connection is the height of human experience.  When we find it, it is heaven on earth.
When the connection is disrupted through separation, the pain can be unbearable.
And we feel the consequences for a long time, maybe even for the rest of our life.
Sorrow can cloud our judgment, sway us as we weigh our decisions,
affect our vision of the future, our hope in the future, alter the direction of our life,
cause disorientation, stifle our desire to continue our journey through time.
We can be tempted by anger and despair to pull over to the side of the road, so to speak,
and refuse to go any farther.  We can become psychologically and spiritually paralyzed.
Jesus knows the pain of separation.
He is separated from his Father as he fulfills his mission on earth.
As he draws close to his time of return, I can only imagine his longing.
Reuniting with the Father, however, means separation from his disciples.
As Jesus announces his departure, his disciples start feeling the pain of separation.
No matter how he explains it the end result is the same:  he is leaving them behind.
Their earthly journey will continue without him.  This development troubles them.
But he is not abandoning them, leaving them on their own in a hostile world.
He is going ahead of them, marking out the way.  He will continue to work on their behalf
so that all will be ready when they arrive at their destination.
They are like nestlings who must spread the wing and leave home.
In a way, if they don’t fledge, they will not develop, they will not mature.
They don’t trust in themselves, in their own capabilities, but Jesus trusts in them.
Jesus reminds them:  he is more than a guide who has shown them the way.
He is the journey itself.  With his departure they are not losing a captain,  they are gaining a ship.
The way ahead is not a geographical passage, over turbulent waters, through stormy seas.
It is a sacrificial passage through suffering, self-denial, death and rebirth.
The disciples must have taken Jesus’ words to heart for they completed the journey.
And because they completed their journey our journey is made possible.
For the sake of those who will come after us, our mission is to complete our Christian journey.
“Give us the courage, the determination,  O Lord, to continue our journey,
knowing every step we take, is a step closer to you.  Amen!”