But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. (John 16:7)
At the Last Supper the disciples were sad at the announcement of the impending departure of Jesus. In today’s Gospel (John 16:5-11) Jesus tells them that it is important that he leaves them physically, because now the Holy Spirit will dwell in them. He stretches their minds to understand that they cannot cling to a fixed idea of him, but must be open to understanding that God can be present in many ways.
The ever-changing world in which Eugene lived (he lived through 7 radical changes of political rule in 79 years) forced him to adapt, while keeping his vision anchored on the Savior. His spirit is beautifully captured in the Oblate Rule of Life:
We achieve unity in our life only in and through Jesus Christ. Our ministry involves us in a variety of tasks, yet each act in life is an occasion for personal encounter with the Lord, who through us gives himself to others and through others gives himself to us. (C 31)
The events of these months are challenging us to stop clinging to unchanging ideas but to allow the Holy Spirit to open our minds to discover the presence of God in different ways as a different world unfolds around us.