Even as Jesus reminds the apostles, “It is better for you that I go, so that the Comforter can come.” It may seem like a very slim consolation. Grief seems the proper response. Confusion too, for the loss is incalculable. Now there is absence.
“We do not know where you are going, and we do not know the way,” Thomas will tell Jesus in frustration. Jesus reminds us, “I am the way," the way that leads through darkness and confusion, doubt and emptiness to a more wondrous presence that is not be limited by his earthly body.
And so we are reminded again this morning that our faith, our faithfulness is deep, dark mystery. “It is better for you that I go," says Jesus. For his seeming absence will allow a deeper, more mysterious presence. This is where we live as monks- in the mystifying darkness that often feels like Christ’s disappearance. This seeming absence of Christ beckons us to notice and experience his very real but hidden presence in the Eucharist, in our brothers in community, in our quiet contemplative prayer.