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.” JN 16:20-23
We are still in the Last Supper account and today Jesus reminds us of something that people today seem to have forgotten, suffering brings joy. When a person forgets this, they think comfort and luxury bring joy. Jesus had to go through the Passion to get to the Resurrection. We, too, must suffer to be rewarded with joy. Jesus uses the analogy of the woman in labor to teach us today. We grieve, we suffer, we go through pain, but we forget about it when it is over and we have received something more beautiful and fulfilling as a result of the suffering like the child for the mother. Catholics don’t enjoy suffering, but Jesus gives purpose to suffering, it is a great avenue for grace. Any pain or suffering we are going through can be offered up with Jesus’s suffering on the cross (don’t forget to do this while you are suffering) and receive grace. Peter Kreeft reminds us that the worst pain or suffering on earth will be like a cough due cold compared to the joy and glory of heaven. Our greatest witnesses (martyrs) willingly go to their death for Christ based on this very fact. What many North American Christians don’t realize is that there have been more martyrs in the 20th century than all other centuries combined.
This Is The Age of Martyrs
“In a recent article, Justin D. Long emphasized the startling fact that more people have died for their faith in the Twentieth Century than in all of the previous centuries combined. “During this century, we have documented cases in excess of 26 million martyrs. From AD 33 to 1900, we have documented 14 million martyrs.””
Amazing! God’s love is the most powerful thing in the world. Allow Him to give it to you!
Today’s challenge: offer up all suffering with Christ’s suffering on the cross and receive grace
Be a servant, become a saint!