May 10, 2013
St. Damien de Veuster of Moloka
John 16: 20-23
Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Grief and Grace
How did “grief” gate-crash this gala of gaiety? Aren’t we still in the Easter season—with its divine prerogative to rejoice? Who invited “grief” to come and spoil this party?
Well, actually, Jesus did. And he should know a thing or two about grief. As should his mother, and disciples, and friends, and any would-be followers. “You will grieve but your grief will become joy.” Imagine the Risen Jesus (as St. Ignatius did) appearing to his inconsolable mother . . . or to the deflated disciples . . . the melancholy Magdalen . . . the crestfallen companions on the road to Emmaus. If there’s one commonality in all the resurrection narratives it’s that Jesus’ ministry is a ministry of consolation. Where there is grief, weeping, and mourning, he brings joy, comfort, and hope.
Are the latter possible without the former? And, if possible, are they authentic? “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain,” offers the prophet Kahlil Gibran. Grief and sorrow, it seems, are not just preludes to grace but graces themselves.
—Fr. Charles Rodrigues, S.J., Associate Novice Director at the Jesuit Novitiate of St. Alberto Hurtado, St. Paul, MN. For more information on Jesuit vocations, click here.
Lord, you are our refuge in good and tough times. In your infinite mercy, bring peace and comfort to us when we face days filled with pain and sadness. Increase our faith that through you there is joy and the promise of lasting peace. We desire to walk with you and to reach out to you in our journey on this earth. Turn our sorrow into joy by guiding us to be a source of comfort to others.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Please share the Good Word with your friends!