Saying farewell is seldom as easy thing to do. How say farewell is usually in direct proportion to the length or intensity of the parting. A simple good-bye to a 'see ya' , when parting for a short period of time is far different from parting with a beloved child, spouse, or parent in the military being deployed to a foreign country. How much more intense is the farewell when we fear that we will never see that person again, either through circumstance, distance, or ultimately through death. Whether leaving or letting go, we long for peace of mind and peace of spirit for ourselves and for all who are involved.
The early Christian community that surrounded Jesus experienced all sorts of growing pains and all sorts of farewell.
From today's Gospel it is evident that Jesus' fervent desire is for his followers and believers to be at peace. He wishes for them to be at peace with one another and at peace with his departure. He assured them that his departure is a gift-the gift of His return to his Father and the gift of the Holy Spirit. To bestow His Spirit, he has to leave.
Our perspective is far different from that of the Apostles and believers in the early days of the Church. We know that the Holy Spirit set free upon the world is far more powerful and pervasive than Jesus physically in a confined time and space. Think of how a cherished loved one can be present to you anytime and anywhere even when separated by death. That given us an inkling of what Jesus means when he says, " I am going and I will come back to you".
Take a moment now to think of any farewell you have made to a loved one. Know that the Spirit of the Risen Christ is with you and will give you the strength to bear the pain of separation. May the hope of resurrection bring you peace , knowing that no" farewell " is ever final and love is stronger than death!
May God bless you all
Your brother in Christ