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. 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. 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. 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.”
We all know that while John was writing this gospel, the church in Jerusalem was living in full percussion of the disciples of the Lord. This gospel tells us that our life is filled with joy and sorrow. In the moment of unhappiness or during difficult moments of life, Jesus invites us to trust in him and his mystical presence in our lives. He tells us that life is not meant to be static, it is always alive and active, and so everything will pass, including the moment of misfortune. Hope is a good medicine of life, because all those who are able to put their hope in this living God, who loves us, will never be disappointed.
The good gift that a person of faith can have in his daily life is hope. The Holy Spirit gives us the patience to endure everything, the gift of discernment, and the gift of wisdom and understanding, are the supportive elements to keep this hope alive. With the Holy Spirit, despite the failures we may have, our inner peace (God's promise) and the joy of living our life, will always be intact. Thus, our misfortunes will be an opportunity to feel the divine presence, a path towards the promised joy.
Action of the day: Pray with hope.
“Your grief will become joy”
+ Fr. Joaquim FONT i Gassol
(Igualada, Barcelona, Spain)
Today we begin the Decade of the Holy Spirit. Reliving the memory of the Cenacle, we see the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Mother of Good Counsel, talking with the Apostles. What a warm and abounding 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 assured them.
We now know that Mary, Queen of the Apostles, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, Mother of the growing Church, guides 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 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: “No one will take your joy away from you” (Jn 16:22) and “your joy may 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 Saint Josemaria Escrivá wrote: “I want you to be happy always, for cheerfulness is an essential part of your way. Pray that the same supernatural joy may be granted to us all.”
Human beings need laughter both for their physical and spiritual wellbeing. Healthy humor teaches us how to live. Saint Paul will say: “We know that all things work for good for those who love God” (Rm 8:28). And here you have a good ejaculatory prayer!: “It's all unto good”; “Omnia in bonum!”