Those who go stay and those who stay go.
This past August Mateo left for his freshman year at his University. While the school is not far in distance, for Mateo any trip away from his home filled with loved ones and friends is far- no matter the miles.
As he was driving his Honda Civic from town, Mateo kept telling himself, “You’re leaving, but this trip is not forever.” He added, “Remember you’ll be home for Thanksgiving." He kept reminding himself of his Thanksgiving return. Although this silent lecture comforted Mateo, it was still a big move!
As the stars began filling the late August sky, Mateo quietly consoles himself with the "treasured bits and pieces” of his Mom’s smile, Tony Anne’s, his sister, tears, that prolonged hug from his Dad, and his cuddles from baby brother Paco. All were still vivid in his heart. He wanted these tender and loving reminiscences and hold them all together until they meet again. And he just knew they would.
In His last night with His disciples, Jesus faced this same dilemma. He knew that He would have to leave them after sharing this three-year intense mission with them. Jesus is returning to His Father, but He wanted to tell them that memories of His time spent with them was most gratifying and these memories will always hold a special place in His heart.
Why? Because Jesus and His rag tag group of disciples shared countless memories and experienced many unforgettable events together. It was a special group and Jesus was fond of each of them in so many ways. He saw their mistakes, their deep goodness, and loved their camaraderie with Him.
While this separation is difficult for both Jesus and Mateo, they know where the richness of their treasure is: family, friends, and followers left behind. All are loved from a distance will never be abandoned by the other. The bonds are too strong.
Together they have tucked away wonderful memories of smiles, stories, and good times together. Each recollection helps both work to finish the task they began: Jesus in preaching the Kingdom of God and Mateo working towards graduation. Their hearts tell them “nothing will break this bond of love.”
St. Francis de Sales wrote: “Those who go-stay, and those who stay- go.” De Sales believed that friends take a little of their friends left behind with them, and their friends leave a little of themselves with those left behind.
A warming thought that can adds brightness to any cloudy and sad farewell!