Friday, May 18, 2012

“Joy is not in things, it is in us”

We are at Jesus’ disposal. If he wants you to be sick in bed, if he wants you to proclaim His work in the street, if he wants you to clean the toilets all day, that’s all right, everything is all right. We must say, “I belong to you. You can do whatever you like.” And this is our strength. This is the joy of the Lord. - Mother Teresa

(Gospel Text Jn 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."

There are many times in a pregnancy that a woman may experience anything from discomfort to suffering, but usually more times of excitement and anticipation. Especially after viewing a beating heart on an ultrasound monitor or later as the woman feels the baby’s movement, she is increasingly aware of the baby’s presence. She begins to imagine what this baby will be like and she may sing or talk to the baby and rub her belly in an expression of affection. Her love for that baby is constantly growing. Towards the end of the pregnancy, she becomes impatient and yearns to see and hold the baby in her arms, to caress and comfort and to experience a much deeper union with him. The pain and suffering of labor are definitely real, but the mother’s indescribable joy at the safe delivery of her baby is a joy that brings tears to her eyes. It is a joy that far exceeds any other experience.

Just as a woman’s awareness of the baby grows, our awareness of God’s constant presence with us grows. Throughout our lives, there are times of pain and suffering both physical and psychological, but our confidence in God’s presence makes it easier to bear those times. Our love for him becomes greater and greater, and at times we may yearn for the physical presence that Jesus’ disciples were able to experience. How fortunate we are that his presence becomes more apparent to us in a physical way with the reception of the Eucharist.

What will it be like when we come to the end of our lives, when our union with God is complete?

Right now we can only try to imagine the eternal joy in store for us at our safe delivery .

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