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God bless our goodbyes

I remember a fun-filled “hide-and-seek” moment one moonlit night when we were children which turned scary when one of our friends could not be located. We all frantically looked for him, shouting his name, but he was nowhere to be found. It turned out that he had gone home, without saying goodbye, and just went to sleep!

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In today’s Gospel (John 14, 23-29), Jesus was saying goodbye to His disciples. It was not a definitive goodbye. It was a goodbye with a promise to meet again. “I am going away and I will come back to you.” With the Lord, there are no permanent goodbyes. With the Lord, it is always “till we meet again.”

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Jesus knows the pain of parting and separation. He tells us today to be strong and to be filled with hope and to place all our goodbyes in God’s heart. Yes, may God bless all our goodbyes. Below is the acronym G-O-O-D-B-Y-E to help us make our goodbyes blessed and meaningful.

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God in our goodbyes. Let us learn to make God bigger than our pains when we say goodbye to people, and put them in God’s hands. They belong to God more than to us. We let go and set them free because they have a destiny and a mission to fulfill for God. “If you loved me you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.”

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Obedience in our goodbyes. Goodbyes are bearable and meaningful if done in obedience to Him for whom the sacrifice is made of leaving what is dearest. Letting go of a loved one, a bad habit, or a comfort zone makes sense if done in obedience to God’s will. “Whoever loves me will keep my word.”

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Openness in our goodbyes. It is the presence of the Holy Spirit that will guide, strengthen, and direct all our goodbyes. We must continue to be open and be reminded of the reason why we go or let go. “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”

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Deepening our goodbyes. Letting go of a loved one, a bad habit, or a bad relationship involves pain, but if done for and with the Lord, it brings peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.”

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Braving our goodbyes. The Word of God is the lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path when we say goodbye. We are strong if our goodbyes are done with, in, and for the Lord. “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”

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Yes to our goodbyes. It is not easy, and it takes time to accept our goodbyes. But with acceptance comes peace and growth. BTS—Believe. Trust. Surrender.

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Enduring our goodbyes. There will always be goodbyes. We accept the pain, but we focus on the gain. Focus not on what is missing, but on our blessings. Let us focus on our mission, and reach our final destination, heaven, where there are no more tears, no more problems, and no more goodbyes.

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During the pandemic, we lost many of our loved ones, and we could not even say our “proper” goodbyes. We thank the Lord for the gift of eternal life that has given so much hope to our lives, our suffering, and even to our goodbyes.

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Goodbyes are inevitable. Let’s just make sure that we say good goodbyes, not bad goodbyes filled with regrets, anger, or disappointments. Yes, may the Lord bless all our goodbyes.

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A moment with the Lord: Lord, help us to live in such a way that we will have little or no regrets when we have to say goodbye. Amen.

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TAGS: goodbyes, Gospel, Jerry M. Orbos, Moments, parting, Separation
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