My friend was talking about her daughter’s coming wedding – the church, reception and honeymoon. When I interrupted to ask where the newly weds plan to live after the ceremonies, my friend said that she was happy the location chosen was just near her house. She said she instructed her daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law to take their meals, to do their laundry, and to collect their supplies from her house. She also volunteered to send her own maid to clean the condominium unit of the couple. In effect, I felt, she was telling her daughter to stay exactly the same as before her wedding.

Why is it difficult to let go of people? Of course, we say that it is because we love that we find it difficult to release people from our midst. Because we delight in their company, we feel pain when we have to risk seeing them go far and go through the pains of daily challenges and ordeals. Sometimes too, we hate to see people go for our own benefit. We do not want to lose control of them. Letting go would mean relinquishing our relevance in the lives of others.

Peter experienced the pain of letting go when he heard the Lord Jesus speak about his passion: God forbid, Lord. No such thing will ever happen to you! (Mt. 16). Of course, Peter loved his Master so much that he wanted to hear none of his predictions of suffering. But can it also be that Peter retorted because he knew that if he let him go, Jesus would no longer be at his side all the time, consoling him, delighting him, amazing him and fascinating him. Jesus would belong to a bigger crowd, a wider world, and what would that make of Peter? It would reveal further his weaknesses and his wounds. 

Jesus explained that without going through the path of the cross, he could never reach the heights of glory. In fact, not only he, but every disciple must let go of his own comfort and ease, in order to truly find meaning in life. 

Are there people in our lives we fear losing? Is there a loved one who has to go abroad to work and we are so worried? Is there a family member or friend who is gravely ill and we cannot accept the inevitable death? Are there things in our lives we cannot release from our grasp because it would make us vulnerable, weak and without anchor?

Let us pray to the Lord for the gift of letting go and finding life!