“Only a Little: To Pass from Death to Life” Reflection for the Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter 2020

Gospel Jn 16:16-20
Jesus said to his disciples:
“A little while and you will no longer see me,
and again a little while later and you will see me.”
So some of his disciples said to one another,
“What does this mean that he is saying to us,
‘A little while and you will not see me,
and again a little while and you will see me,’
and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?”
So they said, “What is this ‘little while’ of which he speaks?
We do not know what he means.”
Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them,
“Are you discussing with one another what I said,
‘A little while and you will not see me,
and again a little while and you will see me’?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.”

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today, we can find ourselves usual in the shoes of the early disciples. Often, they, like us, do not understand what Jesus says because they do not have the EXPERIENCE of what Jesus says. We also “do not know,” as the disciples, what the Lord means. We are radically ignorant of what our future will be: what will become of our son, if we will complete studies and will find work, if our boss will fire us, if we will recover from an illness, or when the coronavirus will no longer affect us. We have ONLY the words of Jesus that are like the password that enables us to enter the fantastic app that is our life. Yet, we need PATIENCE to see the entirety of God’s plan, which unfolds before us and for us.

That’s why to move on to this vision, we need the “little” of time of which Jesus speaks. In fact, KNOWLEDGE is rooted in TIME and grows in TIME. This knowledge is transformed into a specific and absolute knowledge, into FAITH capable of moving mountains. Indeed a “little” used here in the Gospel translates from the Greek “μικρον, mikron,” from which the same unit of measurement “micro” (an incredibly tiny amount) comes from.
In “mikron of time,” in other words, in a short period, the Paschal Mystery of the Lord is revealed. In a minute fraction of time, the veil of the temple was torn, and the flesh of Jesus crossed the threshold of chronological time to enter the Time of God, ETERNITY. Pope St. John Paul II tells us that “In Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, TIME becomes a dimension of God, who in himself is ETERNAL Thus Christ divides the god of time, is his beginning and his fulfillment; every year, every day and every moment included embraced in his incarnation and resurrection, to find himself in this way in the “fullness of time’”

For this reason, the time of the Passion and the time of the tomb, just “a little” of today’s Gospel, is micro-time, absorbed and as grafted into the fullness of time, into the eternal time of God. These microns of time are absolute and inescapable. The little times are the places where God meets personally with us. Walking in them, we pass from a carnal and worldly vision to the full vision of the love of God glorified in the weakness of flesh of humanity. To the disciples’ question, “What is this ‘little while’ of which he speaks?”, Jesus answered with the Good News of HIS Easter, his death and resurrection, which would be fulfilled in them.

Courage, my dear brothers and sisters! Even the arguments with your spouse, a crisis of your child, cancer, the pandemic, and every single thing we experience are only “a little” because all life is enclosed in this “mikron” between tears and full joy. The Paschal Mystery of the Lord is the paradigm of all existence. In every age, there is “a little” to see and “a little” to not to see. There is a time for the cross, a time for the sepulcher, and a time for the resurrection. Indeed, the authentic characteristic of time is FREEDOM, which confers context and substance in every moment. Freedom appeared and was fulfilled in the Lord. It is given through the Church. In her, we learn that life is, by the grace of God, a passage from tears and joy. The word “tear” comes the Hebrew “דִּמְעָה, dima” also expresses the blood of the eye. Furthermore, another meaning of the word “eye” is “source” (עַיִן). Thus, a tear, the blood of the eye, is a source of life because, in Scripture, blood is life.

So courage, DO NOT BE AFRAID when the cross appears, and you are called to offer your life! The world mirthlessly “rejoices” because it believes that it has been right about the destiny of Christians. The world joylessly laughs in front of the martyrs of chastity, openness to life, and love of the enemy. It doesn’t know that the exact “tears” that will flow from our faces today are the fruitful wombs of the “joy” that will witness in us the victory of Christ to the world.

God bless you,
Fr. Mauro