Fifth Sunday of Easter

Four-year-old Marion West shouted and jumped for joy when her mother came home from work on her lunch break. But Marion would become hysterical when her mother left again after lunch. One day her mother stopped coming home for lunch. Marion was saddened. She wondered why her mother stopped eating and playing with her. She wondered if her mother still loved her as much as she once did. Years later Marion learned that her mother still came home each noon. She sat in the kitchen window eating her lunch and watching Marion play in the neighbour’s yard. All the while she longed to be with Marion, she longed to hold her close, but it was for Marion’s good that she didn’t. Eventually Marion adjusted to her mother’s absence and grew up in healthy way. This story is like what Jesus says in today’s gospel. ‘Do not be worried…’ Jesus is saying that it is time for him to leave them for a while; it’s time for them to grow and develop in a new way. There comes a time in our lives when God seems to abandon us when God seems to leave us for a while. For example, in prayer maybe we don’t experience that deep peace from prayer as we did before. Maybe there was a time when our faith was strong enough to move mountains, but now it can hardly move a molehill. We begin to wonder if God still loves us. The truth is that God loves us very much; he loves us as much as he always did. But God knows that it is time for us to begin a new phase in our spiritual growth. Maybe it is time for us to realize that prayer can take place without feeling. Maybe it is time for us to realize that faith is not a feeling but a commitment, it means saying yes to God even though we don’t sense or fell his presence. God knows that it is for our own good that we struggle for a while for it is through this kind of struggle that we develop into true followers of Jesus. Let’s close with a short poem which sums up what we have been trying to say. For ev’ry pain we must bear, For ev’ry burden, ev’ry care, There’s a reason. For ev’ry grief that bows the head, For ev’ry teardrop that is shed, There’s a reason. For ev’ry hurt, for ev’ry plight, For ev’ry lonely, pain-racked night, There’s a reason.  But if we trust God, as we should, It will turn out for our good. He knows the reason.