“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.”

Picking up (Jn 16:16-20) where we left off yesterday, Jesus continues His conversation with the disciples.  He tells them that He will be leaving soon but will be back shortly thereafter.  They do not know what He means and He responds with the words at top.  The disciples truly did grieve when the Lord was taken from them so cruelly after most of them had abandoned Him and even denied Him.  Whether they recalled these words of Jesus during the first Good Friday or Holy Saturday we don’t know.  But if they did, they surely would have been hard-pressed to see any light at the end of that dark tunnel.  Isn’t it the same with us?  When we are in the depths of difficult times, whether physical illness, emotional pain, financial troubles, concern over a dear relation in dire straits, mourning the loss of a loved one, it can be hard to conceive that we will ever emerge from this darkness into true joy.  It is not uncommon that we move past these things in this life, but more importantly we have the hope for fulfillment in the next.  By living life as Christ commanded and exemplified we can rest assured in the hope of eternal life when are time on this mortal coil has ended.  The world (and its “prince”) does rejoice at the removing of God from its midst as it actively continues to do so.  This makes believers sad.  But no matter the circumstances, never despair.  Jesus Christ is victorious over the world, the flesh, and the devil — hearken back to the incredible joy of the disciples on Easter Sunday.  He promised us that ” the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against” the Church He established under Peter (Mt 16:18)– and He keeps His promises.  We are on the right side of history, so let us build up the Kingdom whatever animosity or persecution it brings: “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” (Mt 5:11-12a)

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