A reading from the gospel according to John 16:20-23:
20 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.
21 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.
22 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.
23 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: Joy after pain
Any mother knows it. The pain during labor is too much to bear but after giving birth, she rejoices in seeing her new-born child. The analogy fits exactly what happened to the apostles. When Jesus was arrested and crucified, they were terrified and disappointed but after the resurrection, they experienced joy. Then during Pentecost, they were fully empowered to continue the mission of proclaiming the gospel of truth.
Indeed, there is no gain without pain. No success without sacrifice. No glory without grief and certainly, no resurrection without Calvary. Life is full of pain and suffering but when they are offered for the glory of God, they become instruments for our mortification. When that happens, God will grant us the strength to bear the pain and the wisdom to learn from the suffering. This strength and wisdom from God are enough reasons to be joyful and have peace of mind.
Jesus promised to be with us until the end of time (Matthew 28:20). His presence alone gives us joy that no one can take away from us. This is in contrast to the temporary joy that humans get from worldly sources. That is why Jesus urged His disciples to obey His commandments and to abide in His love so that their joy may be full (John 15:11).
Dear Jesus, we offer our grief and wounds to you. We believe in your power and we hold on to your promise that whatever we ask the Father in your name, He will give us. We now pray for strength, wisdom, and renewal. May our grief be turned into joy and our wounds be healed. Amen