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The disciples’ joy

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REFLECTION

John 16:20-23

 

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.”

 

Reflection

Your hearts will rejoice. Jesus assures his disciples that grief will not have the last word. They will rejoice at what will happen to him. They will just have to wait.

To explain his point, Jesus may use a good-bye scene, portraying separation from a loved one. Instead, he describes a woman in labor. The disciples are like a woman in labor, suffering the pangs of childbirth, but after the child is born, the feeling will be different. Labor does not last long; the joy after childbirth will stay longer. There will be no end to the joy that a child has been born into the world. In the same way, the disciples will no longer remember how they have suffered; their joy will overshadow the pain.

When that day comes, Jesus assures the disciples, they will be powerful in their prayer. The Father in heaven will hear and readily grant their petitions. They will not be frustrated when they ask favors from God.

What kind of favors will the disciples ask? In this context, they will plead for strength and courage. After Jesus ascends into heaven, they will be facing people who will oppose them, just as it happened to their Master. With the help of the Holy Spirit, they will succeed in their mission.

 

Do you believe that after you suffer for Jesus, you will have endless joy?

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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