Grief Will Become Joy

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Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter

John 16:16-20
“A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me.” So some of his disciples said to one another, “What does this mean that he is saying to us, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” So they said, “What is this ‘little while’ [of which he speaks]? We do not know what he means.” Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Are you discussing with one another what I said, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.”
Opening Prayer: Lord, your poor disciples were confused. Help me to enter into this time of prayer with a quiet mind and an open heart so that I hear you clearly.
Encountering Christ:

  1. Now You See Me, Now You Don’t?: Jesus seemed to speak in riddles to his disciples and they were confused. Ironically, instead of asking Jesus, who was standing right in front of them, for an explanation, they turned to each other and mumbled, “What does this mean?” When we need wisdom, insight, or clarity, our first recourse should be to the One who knows everything. After we’ve prayed, we can Google, ask a trusted friend, or read a quality book knowing with confidence that the Spirit is leading us to find the truth. 
  2. What Does He Mean?: We can be in the unfortunate habit of turning to others for their opinion and approval when we feel unsure about something. The satisfaction we receive from others’ affirmation does not feed our souls the way leaning on Jesus does. Five times, Our Lord says in the Gospels, “Whoever has ears ought to hear.” We gain hearing ears by asking the Spirit for them.    
  3. Your Grief Will Become Joy: Our Lord promised that the disciples’ grief would become joy. What is this joy? Is it having fun? Having fun is good. But joy is more. This joy is the certainty that Jesus is with us and with the Father. To experience Christian joy, we reflect on the fact that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalms 139:14), made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), “little less than a god” and “crowned with glory and honor” (Psalms 8:6), and adopted by the King of Kings when we were baptized (CCC 1265). “True happiness is not found in riches or well-being, in human fame or power, or in any human achievement— however beneficial it may be…but in God alone, the source of every good and of all love…” (CCC 1723).

Conversing with Christ: Lord, I want to be a beacon of joy, even when life deals me suffering and grief. In fact, joyful hearts in the midst of suffering are a mysteriously powerful witness to your presence and love for each soul. Grant me the grace to be this witness, and thereby bring glory to the Father. 
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will visit a tabernacle to worship you—the source of my Christian joy. 
For Further Reflection: Psalm 1
Written by Maribeth Harper

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