Do not leave me! The fear of being alone: commentary on the Gospel of May 7, 2023 by Father Gaetano Piccolo SJ

Fifth Sunday of Easter – year A

Acts 6,1-7 Ps 32 1Pt 2,4-9 Jn 14,1-12

Go through the man and come to God.
You pass through him, you go to him.
Do not look outside of him for where to reach him.
If he hadn't wanted to be the way, we would always be astray. So he made his way to where you can go.
I don't tell you: look for the way.
It is the way itself that meets you: get up and walk

St. Augustine,Speech141.4
Do not leave me! The fear of being alone
Do not leave me! Fear of being alone 4


Our life is made up of many separations, it begins with a separation, that from our mother, and continues with other experiences that remind us of that initial break.

This is why we experience the suffering and pain of detachment every time, but today, in the present, we are also aware that we are alive thanks to that separation.

This situation repeats itself when, for example, we say goodbye to a loved one, when a relationship ends or when a job, a journey, a service, a mission ends. We experience the fear of being alone.

Perhaps the unknown of the future scares us and we are saddened by the nostalgia for something that we lack.

A chapter to live

In this Sunday's Gospel passage, the disciples glimpse in the words of Jesus a farewell, they sense that something is about to end, but they are unable to inhabit the hope of something new that could begin.

After all, it is also true for us: we need to go through pain, it is a chapter that must be lived in any case.

Only then can we start writing a new chapter. The long speech of Jesus in the Upper Room is a way to accompany the disciples on this path of awareness.

Know how to wait

Through these experiences, relationships change, evolve, transform.

These steps are certainly painful too, but they are necessary. The way we experience these phases of change also often reveals how we have experienced that relationship up to that moment. Jesus invite the disciples to wait, sooner or later they will meet again.

If you trust each other, the distance pains you, but it doesn't scare you, because you are certain that you will find each other again.

Thomas is the image of those who can't wait, but try to maintain control over situations and above all control over the other. Tommaso wants to know where he goes Jesus, so you can get there on your own.

As if we want to have the guarantee of knowing what will happen in the end. Tommaso is impatient, he already wants to know what will become of that relationship.

Know the other

In times of change, which are always times of crisis, we sometimes realize that we have never really known the other person.

Jesus marvels at Philip's question, who asks a Jesus to show him the father.

It's as if Filippo, despite all that time spent with Jesus, had never really known him. If this happens between us, when we realize that we have never really known the other, it is easy to think that this can also happen in the relationship with Jesus.

One can be with one person, but never truly commune with the other.

We can be in relationship with Jesus out of habit, out of convenience, out of laziness, and at a certain point we realize that we have never really known him.

Father's words

For his part Jesus try to encourage the disciples of all times.

Try to meet the disciple's fear of being orphaned, of feeling alone and abandoned. She actually talks to himof father he speakswith father: «You will do greater things than me!».

It is the phrase that every son would like to hear from a father, because it expresses trust, esteem, encouragement.

And this is what makes every relationship grow: words that support, not words that block.

Live in love

To help us overcome our fears, to invite us to face what scares us, Jesus want us to enter that space oflove which is its communion with the Father, that'love which is not closed, which does not exclude, but invites and welcomes, protects and reassures.

Only there can we find consolation in the face of our anxieties and our disturbances.

Easter time will slowly lead us to recognize that the Holy Spirit is thislove between Father and the Son who comes to dwell in us, if we are ready to welcome him.

Read inside

  • How do you live the moments of separation?
  • Can you trust Jesus?

Let's listen together

The Gospel of the day
The Gospel of the day
Do not leave me! The fear of being alone
Do not leave me! Fear of being alone 2

Courtesy © ♥ Father Gaetano Piccolo SJ

Avatar of Remigio Ruberto

Hi, I'm Remigio Ruberto, father of Eugenio. The love that binds me to Eugenio is timeless and spaceless.

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