He Will Come to Us

Today’s Gospel contains one of the most comforting lines in all of scripture. Jesus, addressing his disciples, states: “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

I will come to you.

When you leave someone behind, it’s not uncommon to want to give them something of yourself, perhaps as an ongoing comfort, as a reassurance. When I have visited people who know that they are close to the end of their lives, this is a common theme. They worry about their children, a spouse, a family member or friend who may be unable to care for themselves or who will struggle greatly after they are gone. I wonder if this was what Jesus was thinking about, knowing that he would soon be leaving them.

But Jesus did not simply want to offer a gift as a comfort or as a reassurance … rather he wanted to leave something behind that is even better than that. He leaves something of himself.

I myself wish I could remember this more. Feel this more. Especially when I’m challenged or despairing. It’s easy for me to stand up here at a pulpit and remind all of you about the ongoing presence of a loving Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… but I would do well myself to truly feel this when I’m facing my own trials. To me, this is the essence of faith – to experience the presence of God not only during the hills in life, but also deep, deep inside the valleys.

Perhaps the most powerful part of Jesus’ promise in today’s Gospel extends beyond the gift of presence and lies more so in this notion that “he will come to us.” That he will seek us, like the Good Shepherd that he is, like a light that pierces through darkness, and as did the suffering victim who declared from his own crucifix that he forgives.

When all is good and well.

He will come to us.

When we are facing pain and fear.

He will come to us.

When we are on top of the world and act as though we no longer need him.

He will come to us.

When we choose poorly.

He will come to us.

When we feel the bounty of his grace.

He will come to us.

When we are left feeling empty and alone.

He will come to us.

When being a mom is the single greatest gift in our lives.

He will come to us.

When being a mom is the hardest job we’ll ever have.

He will come to us.

When we are soaring.

He will come to us.

And when we are falling.

He will come to us.

I think this is a pretty good reminder, mantra, and prayer: He will come to us.

Somehow… some way… in the great and unfathomable vastness of the grand divine mystery, the Creator God promises that he will be with us always. That he will approach, filling the gap between us.

He asks for just one thing in return. That we will go to him.


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