Saturday, February 2, 2019
“Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. “ – John 16:20-22
“ … you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy …” I have known weeping and mourning in my life, weeping over the cruelty of so many hearts, mourning over the loss of loved ones gone on before me. The Lord has also taught me not to deny these experiences of sorrow, not to deny them or to discount their worth. And the Lord has taught me that in time, the sorrow and mourning will face into joy once more. Always … that remembrance of joy and the anticipation of joy allows me to be fully human in the time for tears.
I was present at the birth of my two sons and both times I was overwhelmed with the courage of my wife to endure the pain in anticipation of a coming joy. I felt rather helpless as I coached her through her struggle for I was wanting all that tearful pain to go away. It is a miracle, this giving birth, but possibly the most miraculous part was her totally amazing, almost instant recovery as her tears of pain transformed into tears of joy.
Christ uses a feminine imagery to describe the process of sorrow turning into joy. I think possibly because no masculine imagery would prove sufficient to describe it. At least, I cannot bring it to mind.
Some claim that their faith in Christ does away with the weeping and mourning, does away with the struggle and sorrow. In the maturing of my faith, I find faith in Christ is a confidence, though sometimes shaken, that eventually the joy will once again return.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz