In many ways, we are just like the apostles locked in the upper room, waiting for the coming of the Spirit, fearing what might happen to them. They were “self sheltered” in prayer and fear. But they were praying, with Mary, her presence “mothering” them to surrender to the coming Spirit. Mary is with us in our individual “upper rooms” of homes, condos and apartments.
We are waiting for much: restrictions to be eased, stores to open, churches to welcome back people, limited gatherings to begin, and... a vaccine. Yes, we, all of us, are waiting for life to emerge, albeit differently, so that we can create a new normal. Life will NOT go back to the way it was before this pandemic took hold. No... things will be different. Can we accept what this will mean?
Jesus is praying very hard in today’s gospel. Try reading it slowly. Pray it. Jesus is prepaying to leave this world and is saying “goodbye” before the actual events of his Passion unfold. But he knows, in the depth of his being, that life will never go on as before his passion. Life will forever change. A “new normal” must be created by his disciples, a “normal” rooted in the Spirit soon to descend.
We are waiting, yes waiting, for the Spirit to fill us with Pentecost love that is like fire and gentle breeze, all at the same time. Paradox unites realities that seem to be opposite to create a new reality... a new normal. We are always creating a new “normal” as we grow and change. The Spirit is always pushing us, sometimes shoving us, beyond established boundaries into new horizons, creating the “new normal”. The Spirit is lighting a fire under our rear ends to get going.... let the horizons broaden and brighten with hues of different and deeper colors.