Little children, yet a little while I am with you (Jn. 13:33).
The Lord called His Disciples children soon after He gave and they received His Most Pure Body and communed of His Blood. It’s significant that the Gospel doesn’t mention that the Lord called His Disciples children before this time, but from the moment of their communion, he twice used this name, full of tender love.
Beloved brothers! All of us who have been baptized into Christ and have communed of the Body and Blood of Christ become children of Christ, both from His flesh and from His Blood. In Baptism we were born of Him, and in Communion He nourishes us with Himself. So, today we have become firstly children of Christ, nourished with His Flesh and Blood.
But just as at that time, having called His Disciples children, He foretold to them their imminent separation from Him, their scattering, and the renunciation of one of them (Peter), so now He as if says to us: “Children! How beautiful you are now, how dear to My heart, washed with tears of repentance and sanctified with My Blood!” And indeed, those who have communed worthily become especially beloved for the Lord because of the sanctification communicated to them by His Most Holy Body and Blood.
Such a change in communicants is also expressed in their external appearance. See what bright faces they have after Communion! With what joy and purity their eyes shine! Similar changes are seen even after the Baptism of adults who turned to the true faith from paganism or Mohammedanism, as evidenced by the experience of Orthodox missionaries. Little children, yet a little while I am with you (Jn. 13:33), the Lord said to His Disciples.
“Little children, yet a little while I am with you, the Lord now says to us—for you will not abide with Me long. The hour cometh … that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own (Jn. 16:32): All of you are with Me now, but soon you will abandon Me again; each will go his own way, each of you will again go your own way through the crossroads of this world. If you return again to your former ways, which are hateful to Me, then I can no longer remain with you.” But, Lord, let it not be! Don’t let us leave You; help us ever abide with You. If we ever want to go on our sinful ways again, then You hold us close, Lord; remove the path of iniquity from us and guide us to Your path, that we might ever walk in the light of Your face. “Keep us in Thy holiness, that all the day,” all our lives, “we may meditate upon Thy righteousness.”1“My child!” How we have desired this voice of Yours, O Lord! “O Divine, O dear, O sweetest Voice!... O great and most sacred Pascha, Christ!... Grant that we may more perfectly partake of Thee in the unending Day of Thy Kingdom.”2
To be continued…