In the Gospel passage for today, Jesus breaks the news to the disciples that He will not be staying with them, but instead returning to Heaven to be with the Father. I imagine hearing these words were crushing to the disciples. They already went through the pain and sadness of watching Jesus die. In their minds they were probably thinking “oh no, not again.”
Jesus senses the sadness in His friends. Behind the sadness, He also see their fear and doubts in their ability to live out His truth without Him being physically present on earth. So He assures them that “it is better for you that I go.” I’m sure at the time, the disciples heard these words and thought “yeah right.” But because they trusted in Jesus, and believed that He was in fact the risen Lord, they continued to listen and trust that He had what was best in mind.
Turns out. . . He did! After ascending to Heaven, the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, descended upon the disciples so they could be closer to God than ever before. God was no longer confined as a person standing in one specific place at one specific time. Instead, He could intimately dwell in each of them for all of time. Through the Holy Spirit, we are granted the gift of inner closeness with God, which is better than having the person of Jesus walking around on earth.
Often times, we get so caught in trying to figure out the plan and the future. We cannot see past our feelings and desires, and act according to our own will and doubt that God can be trusted with the desires of our heart. But the reality is that God wants the best AND more for us and our lives. Through living a life of virtue and placing our lives at the feet of Jesus, God carries out goodness in our life beyond even our wildest dreams. When we hand over the reigns of our life, God leads us to places “beyond our wants, beyond our fears, from death into life.”
We have a good good Father, who wants THE best for us. Don’t be afraid if He takes a look at your plans, and says He has something better in mind. His plans always lead to complete joy and abundant life.