The Gospel according to John (16:20-23)
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”
Reflection: Does an experience of anguish mean you are not in God’s grace? Does it mean that God has left you? Or does it mean that you are doing something wrong? Certainly not. In fact, all we have to do is look at the life of Jesus to see this is not the case. He was in constant anguish throughout His earthly life as He continually entered more deeply into the mission of His Father. Just prior to His public ministry He was in anguish for forty days in the desert. Throughout His public ministry, He experienced the anguish and exhaustion of His earthly life. He experienced the criticism of others, misunderstanding, ridicule, rejection, harsh treatment, and so much more. In the end, we know His fate on the Cross.
Our Blessed Mother had the “sword of sorrow” pierce her heart. She was misunderstood and ridiculed from the beginning as a result of her mysterious pregnancy out of wedlock. She carried a perfect love of her Son and anguished over His future as He grew. She watched many who loved Him and others who harassed Him. She watched His mockery of a trial and His Crucifixion.
But think of their lives now. They now reign from Heaven as the glorious Queen of All Saints and the King of the Universe. They live in glory now for eternity.
Action of the Day: If you feel as though you have been dealt an unfair hand or have been treated unfairly, you are in good company. The key is to walk through this life with grace and dignity. Do not let the trials of this life or its pains get you down. Know that as you remain faithful walking down the path God has set for you, the end result is that you will rejoice! So today Lord, by your grace let me briefly recall your promise of joy when I am reminded of the imperfection and suffering in this world.