Today’s Gospel repeats much of yesterday’s account about the sorrow the disciples will experience when Jesus goes away (in his suffering and death) and the joy that they will experience when he soon returns (in his resurrection). Jesus compares their experience to that of a woman about to give birth to a child. During the time of delivery, she suffers greatly, but is so happy once her child is born. The joy of seeing her newborn child is worth any pain. The disciples will have to go through a similar experience as the new Jesus, the Risen Christ, enters his new life.
Today’s passage adds the promise that, when Jesus sees them again, they will experience a joy that “no one will take… away from you.” And they will no longer have to ask the questions they are asking now. It does not mean that there will no more be suffering in the future. There will be, and some of them will give their lives for their commitment to Jesus and the Kingdom. But for those who are close to Jesus, pain and joy are not incompatible.
Responsorial Psalm • Ps 47
“God is king of all the earth.” or “Alleluia.”
GOSPEL • 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.”
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