Friday, May 6, 2016

Reflection: John 16:20-23

Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter – John 16:20-23 

Take a moment and remember a difficult time in your life.  This may have been a time when you experienced an illness, difficult challenges in a relationship, or a loss of some sort.  What were the emotions you experienced during this time: anger, fear, sadness, grief, loss?  Did you have a sense of the presence of God with you at that time or did you feel lost, alone, and afraid?

In today’s reading, Jesus warns his disciples that difficult days will come for them.  There will be times when they will weep, mourn, and grieve.  There also will be times when their grief will be transformed into joy.  To help his disciples understand his message, Jesus uses the image of a woman who is in labor with her child.  Yes, the labor is difficult and the pain is excruciating; however, when her child comes forth from the womb, there is no greater joy.  A new life has come into the world!  A tremendous gift was born from all that pain!

Jesus wants his disciples to know and believe that after the difficult days of his crucifixion and death, new life will come forth for them.  Jesus also wants us to know and believe that after our difficult days, we also will experience new life.  Once again, we will see him and experience His presence with us.   We will be able to rejoice when Jesus gifts us with new life and hope.

Our part is to trust and be watchful and attentive to his coming. This often is easier said than done.  We may know Jesus will come again, but when life is difficult and painful, we may not trust that new life and hope will ever return to us.  Often the journey to new life is long, barren, and arduous.  If we truly trust Jesus, however, we will stay on the journey with him despite the difficulty and the pain.

How great is our trust in Jesus, especially when we don’t see Him or feel His presence?  The reality is that Jesus is always with us. Today Jesus is certain to come to us.  Will our minds, eyes, and hearts be open to his coming?  He will come; however, we have to be awake and alert! Will we choose to stay awake until He comes?  I pray we will!

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