Wednesday 27th May 2020
Seventh week of Easter
Acts 20:28-38, John 17:11-19
Have you ever been in a situation where you are to give a farewell speech to a group of people you are about to leave behind and not sure when you will meet them again? I could remember when I was to say goodbye to the parishioners of a parish I had done apostolic work for just six weeks, at some point, not only that the people were crying that I was leaving, I also managed to hide my tears because of the love they had showed me. I could also remember how many people were crying when a priest who had worked in a parish for over five years was transferred to another parish.
It is therefore very easy to understand why the people of Ephesus are in tears in the first reading of today, that Paul who had been with them for about three years was leaving them.
The tears of the Ephesians was obviously not just because Paul was leaving them but because of the way he had led them. He narrates it himself how he suffered for their sake and was not a burden to them. He worked night and day for their salvation and cared for their souls. His success in Ephesus was not just his disposition to work with them, but also their readiness to accept him and show him love and concern.
This is exactly what Jesus also speaks about in the gospel reading of today. In his conversation with his Father, he narrates how he had been a Father to us, cared and guided us. He made sacrifices to the point of death, and Paul also endured all the hardships in Ephesus to get the message of the kingdom to them. We can therefore make things easier for those working with and for us. If you are to leave where you are now? What will be the feeling around you? Sadness or joy? If people are also to leave your environment today, how do you think they will also feel based on the way you have treated them? God help us to put in our best in whatever we do. Only the Holy Spirit can help us achieve this. God help us. Amen.
Fr Michael Osatofoh Eninlejie MSP