Lord, we look forward to that new life and joy
6th Week of Easter : Friday 22nd May 2020
Acts 18:9-18; Ps. 47(46):2-3,4-5,6-7;
Jn. 16:20-23 (Ps Wk II)
Departures are sad, sorrowful, even painful events, at least for those ‘left behind’. Before Jesus departed from His friends, He spoke about that difficult separation, encouraging them with words of comfort we hear again today. The words are recorded by St John as spoken shortly before Jesus’ passion and death, when He Himself was about to suffer so much, physically and mentally and emotionally, in His leaving this world to make the “breakthrough” to His risen life.
Today, in Eastertime, we listen again. Now it’s another ‘departure’ we’re focused on, the eventual Ascension of Jesus. For His disciples, a painful loss; but necessary for them so that they can receive the Holy Spirit and enter a new life. Then the pain will turn to eternal joy.
One of the most striking of all the illustrations Jesus used in His teaching was that of childbirth – the suffering and pain a mother has to endure in the process, but that’s all forgotten as soon as the child is born. Joy in the new-born overwhelms what’s gone before. Such shall be the overwhelming joy. His disciples will experience this level of joy after the inevitable sufferings and pain that they may endure as disciples of Jesus.
Our human lives are lived between two traumatic “breakthroughs’: being born, and leaving this world. Both have loss and pain attached, but the result is new life and joy.
Lord, we look forward to that new life and joy.