May 26, Thursday, Sixth Week of Easter (St. Philip Neri, Priest)
Readings: Acts 18:1-8; John 16: 16-20
Jesus' commands to us may be challenging to comprehend at times. However, if we trust in Jesus, we will sense that he is walking with us and directing us.
In today’s Gospel, we see the uneasiness of the disciples in Jesus’ words. When Jesus told them, "A little while and you will see me no more, and then you will see me for a while." They looked at one another and asked: "Is he going to leave us for a time?
And how much time is a little time? The disciples were confused by Jesus’ words.
Jesus knew that they were upset, and they had many questions they wanted to ask Him. He said to them: "Yes, you will cry and be sad, but later your sadness will become joy."
The disciples' concern is how long Jesus's absence is going to last. The disciples did not understand that Jesus was appointing them to be the messengers who would carry his words and teaching to the whole world. Jesus makes it clear to them that a period of sorrow is inevitable.
He cannot spare them from it. There will be a time when they will weep and lament and be in grief and when the world around them will be rejoicing. But, He says, "Your sorrow will turn to joy."
When Jesus says, "Your sorrow will turn to joy," we usually think our sorrow will be replaced by joy. But the promise of Jesus is the very thing that caused the sadness and grief that would later be the cause of joy.
That is a revelation of one of the great principles that mark authentic Christianity, one of the ways by which Jesus works in our lives. He takes the very thing that causes us sorrow and turns it into a cause of joy.
At times, we may not understand Jesus’ instructions to us. We may become confused and afraid. However, if we trust in Jesus, we will sense that Jesus is walking beside us and guiding us.
Today and every day, may we pray for one another that we will trust Jesus in all things.
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