As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world

We all know what it’s like to let go of someone.   Time marches on, situations change, and someone must move away—or is called home by the Lord. Transitions like these can be hard.   They can upset the balance in our lives and introduce an element of uncertainty and apprehension.

Jesus knows what it’s like to let go.   He knows how hard it can be.   In today’s Gospel reading (John 17:18), for example, he is letting go of his disciples.   He is letting them move into a new phase of life, a phase in which they must build on what he has taught them but without him standing right by their side.   And because Jesus knows what it’s like, we can trust him to help us through our own transitions.

For example, dropping a child off for his first day at school might be fraught with anxiety.   You might wonder if your child is ready to go out into the big world without you; you might treasure the preschool days and not want to see them end.   But you can turn to Jesus and pray, Lord, you’ve helped me so far.   I trust that you will help me adapt to this new situation.   Help me let go of my child so that he can grow.

Retiring from a job can also be difficult.   Maybe you’ve been working for so long that you’re reluctant to allow someone else to step into your role.   But you can thank God for all you’ve accomplished and pray, Lord, help me to step aside.   Help me to trust that you will work everything out for the good—for both my employer and me.

Watching a loved one decline in health is heart wrenching.   Your lives have been intertwined for so long that it’s hard to accept that her time on earth is approaching its end.   When letting go feels like it’s tearing you apart, pray, Lord, help me surrender my beloved into your arms.   I believe that you love her more than I do, and you will not forsake us.

As you approach your own transitions, remember, Jesus knows what you’re going through.   Ask him for the grace to let go so that you and your loved one can walk unencumbered into the new life that lies ahead.

Word Among Us