May 6, 2016
Jn 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.
Joy and Hope
Jesus’ message is clear: “No one will take your joy away from you.” Let’s face it. Life can have tremendous challenges, but the virtue of hope is what keeps the Christian going. Jesus points out real situations we can relate to: grief eventually turns into joy; the anguish of a woman’s labor is followed by rejoicing. And the pain from Christ’s death is turned around with the joy of the resurrection.
Pope Francis in his apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of Love,” said that “joy grows through pain and sorrow.” On the topic of married couples he says, “After suffering and struggling together, spouses are able to experience that it was worth it, because they achieved some good, learned something as a couple, or came to appreciate what they have.” I can relate to this in my own marriage—and life in general. There’s always a cause for hope. This is the message of Christianity: We are an Easter people, and not even the power of death can take our joy away.
—Andy Otto, originally from Boston, is currently a high school theology teacher for the Diocese of Sacramento. He also runs the Ignatian blog God In All Things.
help us to celebrate our joy
in the resurrection of the Lord
and to express in our lives
the love we celebrate.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
—Cathedral of Saint Matthew prayer resources
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