Just a few days ago in the Gospel we were proclaiming from the Evangelist John, we were told something that, if we were among the Apostles, would have driven us up the wall. “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear to hear it now,” Our Lord says.
This, for many of us, at least, would be unacceptable. Lack of patience can be such a problem! We want to know everything right away. We want to know all the plans and we want to see them through, no matter what.
So, when Jesus says this in the Upper Room to His disciples, perhaps the Apostles were wondering what He possibly could mean. What more does He have to tell us that we can’t bear now?
What Jesus had to tell the Apostles that they could not bear at that moment was the experience of the Paschal Mystery – the Passion, Death, Resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost. If the Lord had told His Apostles everything that was going to happen, they would not have grasped it. They might have been confused, perhaps even scandalized. They had to wait, to endure the events of the sacred time of Easter, to experience the joy and the fear, the lows and the highs of the entire Paschal Mystery, so that they could understand, through the eyes of faith, these central events in the life of Christ.
At times all of us can be impatient. Not just impatient with others or with ourselves, but even with the Lord. What’s going to happen next? What’s at the root of this impatience in our lives?
At its essence, it’s fear and a lack of trust. Fear that the Lord is not reigning triumphantly in our world and that by His Resurrection and Ascension, He has not truly conquered this fallen world. Lacking in the trust in the plan of the Lord in our lives, we look to ourselves or to others to provide that security and to be that safety net. And, as the Lord says: “It cannot be that way with you.”
Only when we see everything in our lives in and through the complete Paschal Mystery, not segmenting it, placing the Passion in one box, the Resurrection in another, the Ascension in yet another and so on, will our lives make sense.
Ultimately, it is the gift of the Spirit, He who will lead us to all truth, He who is coming at Pentecost, who will grant us the grace to bear what it is we cannot hear and understand right now.
As we the Church celebrate Pentecost Sunday this weekend, may we have the security and consolation of knowing that things are, ultimately, going to be okay, and will go according to God’s plan for our lives.