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'?" (John 16:16-17)
How many times have you heard someone say, "Life is too short. . ." It is usually uttered in the context of wasting precious time on insignificant details or meaningless activities. "No one will ever say 'I spent too little time mowing the lawn' on their deathbed." There are many variations on this theme.
Life on this earth and in this human condition is indeed short. Many of us who have made the trek to senior citizenhood can reminisce about our childhood as if it were yesterday. Someone asked me just the other day how long I had been a priest. When I gave him the accurate count of "almost 38 years," I could have added, "but it seems like yesterday that I was kneeling before Bishop Ryan and feeling his hands upon my head.
One day I was speaking to a brother who was dying of cancer. In the midst of our conversation, he quoted the line from the Broadway play Showboat: "Tired of livin', but scared of dyin'." Our faith tells us that the "little while" of which Jesus speaks is the time that we spend here on earth in our human bodies. We will spend eternity with Jesus and with His Father. Eternity is something we can understand intellectually; however, when it comes to wrapping our minds around it and realizing what Jesus is saying, it is beyond our human comprehension. We shall quite literally live forever. So though we might say from time to time that life is too short, may our faith guide us to the realization that there really is nothing short about it.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator