Jesus said to his disciples, «Truly, I say to you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy. A woman in childbirth is in distress because her time is at hand. But after the child is born, she no longer remembers her suffering because of such great joy: a human being is born into the world. You feel sorrowful now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice. And no one will take your joy from you. When that day comes you will not ask me anything. Truly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my Name, He will give you».
The feast of the Ascension reminds us that we are missionaries and that God will make us happy. The life of a man of faith is led by the Holy Spirit and he becomes aware that he or she is sent by the Lord. Since his or her life is animated by the Holy Spirit, he or she sees in his or her misfortune, as in his or her happiness, the divine presence, and never loses hope, the source of his or her joy. This joy, which God has placed in our hearts, is always there, and no one can take it away. Jesus tells us that in joy we can always hope. He wants this joy to be perfect. And, this perfection is in Jesus.
Yet, we must recognize that it is difficult to be happy at all times. In difficult/ painful moments, we must remember the experience of the Passion, Resurrection and also the Ascension and be faithful to the mission entrusted to us. In Jesus, with the Risen One, the days of distress can be transformed into a joy of new life. All will pass away, as darkness gives way to the rising sun. Let us never forget that we are the children that the universal Church gives birth to every day and that God has put all his trust in us. Let us trust in this Word of the Lord, 'your heart will rejoice'.
Action of the day: Be a witness to the joy of Gospel.
«Your sorrow will turn to joy»
+ Fr. Joaquim FONT i Gassol
(Igualada, Barcelona, Spain)
Today we begin the Decad of the Holy Spirit. Reliving the memory of Cenacle, we see the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Mother of Good Counsel, talking with the Apostles. What a warm and brimful conversation! Recalling all the joys they shared with their Master. The Paschal days, the Ascension and Jesus' promises. The sufferings of the Passion days have turned into joy. What a nice atmosphere at the Cenacle! And what is yet to come, as Jesus has told them.
We now know that Mary, Queen of the Apostles, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, Mother of the raising Church, guide us to receive the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. The gifts are like a boat's sails when unfurled and the wind —representing the grace— blowing in favor: what a speed and easiness of the course!
The Lord has also promised us to transform into joy the hardship of our journey: «And no one will take your joy from you» (Jn 16:22) and «your joy will be complete» (Jn 16:24). And in Psalm 126:6: «Those who go forth weeping, carrying sacks of seed, will return with cries of joy, carrying their bundled sheaves».
All this week the Liturgy speaks of revitalizing, of exulting (jumping with joy), of an eternal and certain happiness. Everything leads us to live in prayer. As St. Josemaria says: «I want you to be always contented, because joy is an integral part of your life —Implore this supernatural joy for everybody».
Human beings need to laugh both for their physical and spiritual health. Healthy humor teaches us how to live. St. Paul will say: «And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God» (Rm 8:28). And here you have a good ejaculatory prayer!: «It's all unto good»; «Omnia in bonum!».