"They were all weeping loudly....for they were deeply distressed that he had said that they would never see his face again" (first reading). You have just read the penultimate sentences of Paul's words to the Ephesians. I have often wondered what Paul must have felt when he departed from the various cities he had visited. Leaving Ephesus, he knew that he would not return.
Imagine the questions that must have darted through his mind and heart as they made their final prayers together: Did I succeed? Who will follow me, protecting them, leading them further in their faith? And are these not the thoughts of many parents, grandparents, God-parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, siblings and friends as Pomp and Circumstance is played for the umteenth time? Have I done what God expected of me? Will there be others who follow me in whatever work I have done, perhaps so much better, so much closer to God, so
And isn't that the thought that races through my mind each evening or early morning as I reflect on the words of the biblical writers and Jesus Christ? Isn't this the thought of each priest as he walks from the pulpit so many times throughout his life?
Have I been successful? As the sun sets, there is the hope that "the sun'll come out tomorrow, tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there'll be sun...." Will the message that all of us have tried to convey to other not die but live on and successfully so in the lives of those we have tried to teach, those we have loved?
And isn't it the same thought that Jesus expresses in his prayer to the Father? Powerful thoughts as the sun sets ... and we are now entering a season of many beautiful sunsets. Take advantage to enjoy a few of them during the summer days ahead of us. Let them open up your heart and soul.
Picture: Potomac River at one of its widest points, Faulker, MD.