FRIDAY, SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER
Acts 18: 9-18; Ps 47: 2-7; Jn 16: 20-23
THE JOY OF THE NEW LIFE
At the death of a loved one, we experience tremendous sadness. The separation and the feeling of knowing that we shall never see or meet the person again in real life begin to haunt us. In today’s gospel, we hear Jesus speaking about his death and resurrection. He tells his disciples that the separation caused by death is not forever and that there will be a time of joy after it when we too will be with him and with those we have loved, and at that time our joy will be certain and permanent.
The gospel passage is set on the last night before Jesus’ crucifixion; he has revealed to his disciples that difficult days are coming. They will be afraid, weep, mourn and grieve during this period, but there will also be a time soon after when their grief will be transformed into gladness. Speaking of the sorrows of separation and the joys of reunion, he wants them to believe that after the difficult days they will be able to witness his presence once again and rejoice in new life and hope.
Jesus compares their happiness to that of a mother giving birth. Once a child is born, all the pain and distress that the mother experiences during labour and childbirth is transformed into joy at the safe birth of the baby – so great is the tremendous gift born from that pain. In our lives too when life throws us huge boulders of troubles and difficulties, when we face rejections and suffer mentally, physically and emotionally, we need to remember that God is with us at all times. In the day’s first reading God assures Paul that he is with him and tells him not to be afraid as no one can harm him while he is with him. In the same way, we need to assure ourselves that God will help us tackle our troubles and difficulties and we will experience happiness and joy soon after.
Response: God is king of all the earth.
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