After a cup of black coffee, a handful of M & M’s, and rich conversation, it was time to leave. As I stood, Barb grabbed my hands and pleaded, “Don’t go.” “Stay just a little longer.”
After my mother’s stroke, as she was dying, I held her hands tightly as my heart pleaded silently, “Don’t go.” “Stay just a while longer.”
We can just imagine the disciples’ grief and pleading as Jesus spoke of His Ascension, “Don’t go.” “Stay with us just a bit longer.” Yet Jesus “parted from them and was taken up to heaven” (Luke 24: 51).
They say, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” Though we feel the sorrow immediately, the sweetness of departure emerges slowly.
Because of my mother’s dementia, I had stopped sharing the details of my life with her. Our conversations had turned to the beauty of the moment and, of course, terms of endearment. Though I grieved her death, I eventually felt her presence in a deeper way. I now speak to her often, sharing my most intimate thoughts. I am assured of her continuous prayers. Her spirit is with me—now more than ever.
The Ascension allowed for Jesus' presence to be in the world in the widest and deepest ways. Instead of intimate friendship with twelve, He is present to each of His disciples—billions of us—now more than ever.
Through His Holy Spirit …
Through the Body of Christ …
Through prayer and contemplation …
Through Scripture …
Through the intimate sharing of His life in the Eucharist …
Because of His sorrowful parting, Jesus is with us sweetly—now and forever. “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matt 28: 20).
How appropriate to celebrate Jesus’ ascension near Mother’s Day when many of us experience the sweet sorrow of being parted from our earthly mothers. Though our hearts once pleaded, “Don’t go,” and “Stay a little longer,” we now appreciate our mothers’ presence in deeper, closer, and more intimate ways. Our mothers are with the LORD and His blessed Mother, Mary, in a circle of love that will stay with us forever. We no longer have to plead, “Don’t go.” Now, that's good news!
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
When have you felt close to someone who moved or departed?
How will you help your child recognize the closeness of Jesus?
First published in 2013. Naming Grace in the Domestic Church reflects on Scripture through the lens of a parent/grandparent. To connect with Mary Pedersen: www.marypedersen.com
The blog on this page presents reflections on the Sunday readings through the lens of a parent/grandparent, aiding leaders of the domestic church in their vital task as “first heralds” or “first preachers” of the Good News in the home.