Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she is delivered of the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world. So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (Jn 16: 20-22)

A life in Christ, a cross-carrying life, involves “sorrow”; the kind of sorrow a woman experiences when giving birth. “Because her hour has come.” Thus it happens with us, whenever our “hour” comes and we go through some kind of crisis: In faith, we emerge from it with new wisdom, new life, and “joy.” Not of the fleeting kind, with which “the world will rejoice,” but of the kind that “no one will take” from us.

Yet in the very moment of a crisis, when things are bad and painful, I tend to lose sight of Christ, as if He weren’t there. “But I will see you again,” He reminds us of these kinds of trials, “and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” So today let me choose His kind of joy, and the rewarding adventure of cross-carrying, which enables me to bring new life into my world, in grace-filled usefulness to myself and to others.


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