Homily for St. Joseph Catholic School Mass – May 21, 2020

Jesus says to us in our gospel today: 

“A little while and you will no longer see me” and then “a little while later, you will see me.”

What’s Jesus talking about?

Well, this passage comes from the very end of John’s Gospel in what’s often called Jesus’ “Farewell.” Picture this: It’s the night before he laid down his life for us on the Cross. Jesus and his disciples are huddled together at the Last Supper table. Jesus has just washed his disciples feet, and now he is sharing with them really important words — Words that will help them to understand who He is, why He came to be with them, and what his death and Resurrection mean. When you’re saying “goodbye,” you make sure to say what’s really on your heart. You tell your friends and family what’s most important.

The same goes for Jesus.

So he tells the disciples: “A little while and you will no longer see me.”

He’s talking about dying on the Cross and being buried for three days. For three long days, they wouldn’t see Jesus — they wouldn’t be able to talk to him, wouldn’t be able to ask him questions or turn to him for help. They thought he was gone forever. And of course, they were very sad.

But then Jesus adds: “And a little while later, you will see me!”

He’s predicting His own Resurrection! Jesus didn’t stay in the tomb! He defeated death and showed himself to the disciples early on Easter morning. They got to see him again! Beyond all their expectations, even though it seemed like they lost him for good — They got to see him alive again. And more alive than ever!!!!

You know, it’s been a “little while” — in fact, you could say it’s been a very long while — since you’ve been able to see us here at St. Joseph’s. It’s been about 70 days at this point — Way more than the 3 days the disciples didn’t see Jesus while he was buried in the tomb!

It’s been a while since you’ve gotten to see Fr. Redmond in real life. It’s been a while since you’ve seen your teachers, your friends, your classmates. It’s been a while since you’ve been together in your classrooms, your lunch tables, your playground!

And maybe you’re sad when you think about that…

Well don’t worry! Jesus is speaking to YOU this morning: “Amen Amen I say to you, you will weep and mourn” — you will be sad! — “but your grief will become joy!” 

All your sadness will become JOY!

When we trust in God, we know that no matter how bad things might get, we always have hope of seeing Jesus again. And that hope fills us with so much JOY.

We can look forward to seeing Jesus in the Holy Eucharist again. We really see Him there! Even if He looks like regular bread and wine, it’s Him! We see Jesus on the altar! Jesus in the Monstrance!

That’s why we’re so excited! Because starting this weekend, St. Joseph’s will make Mass available for anyone who wants to come to church again. It’s been a while since we’ve been able to do that because we wanted to make sure people stayed healthy and safe at home. 

But now — in a little while, in just a couple of days actually — people will be able to see Jesus in the Holy Eucharist again!

And even better! They’ll get to receive Him.

“A little while, you won’t see Me, but again a little while and you’ll see me!”

Jesus takes care of us. He wants us to see Him again — in the Sacraments, in the Church, in the Scriptures, in the prayers you pray in your heart! Eventually, Jesus wants us to see him in Heaven forever. That’s the only place where we will find joy that really lasts. It’ll be worth it all when we see Jesus. All our sadness will become joy.