16 “A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me.” 17 Then some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying to us, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They said, “What does he mean by this ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Are you discussing among yourselves what I meant when I said, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’? 20 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.
In today’s Gospel it almost seems as if Jesus is trying to confuse his disciples by talking in circles that do not appear to lead anywhere but to more questions.
Yet, if we keep in mind that Jesus was a teacher, we can see Jesus was actually to teach the disciples how to think for themselves, preparing them to face the challenges of life without him, just as one of our major tasks is to teach our children so that they are ready to face this confusing world on their own.
Our world can be confusing, as well as frustrating and a more than a little scary! We all have to face times when our lives just don’t seem to make any sense at all, like when a child becomes ill, or is lost in the throes of addiction, depression, or is struggling with relationships, bullies, school, etc.
Then there are those times when no matter what we do, or how hard we work, we just can’t seem to catch a break, and it feels as if all the news is bad, and this bad news can wear on us.
Jesus knew all too well about how unfair life can be. Although he was the Son of God, he was also human, and according to the Gospel story, on the night he was betrayed he prayed in the garden for God to save him from the insane torture of the cross, but he was not spared from this fate. This hardly seems to be a fair reward for all the sacrifice he made in God’s name, yet there was still one more sacrifice he was called to make…for us!
As a parent, it strikes me that God allowed Jesus to suffer so cruelly, to experience the harshest of realities of our world has to offer, and I can imagine that as Jesus died on the cross it was God who was weeping with sorrow. There are times when we too are unable to save of our children, either from themselves or from forces they powerless over…and sometimes, it is only by falling that they will find be able to learn how to rise again, by relying on their faith and the support of others!
And this is or Good news for today: that God loves us and wants heal the brokenness of our world, to take away our suffering and grief, for as deeply as God knows our pain, God also knows the joy that comes from sharing our lives with those we love, and how this love can support us as we face life’s challenges and lift us up to greater heights with celebrating the best days of our lives! Yes it was only through the sacrifice of Jesus, not only his death on the cross but his life here with us that
God could truly understand our humanity! It was through this great sacrifice that God was able to reach out to us and surround us with His gracious love!
When we share this love together, supporting each other as we face the challenges of life in general and single parenting in particular, we can find freedom from fear and worry, and indeed find that our pain can be turned into joy…even if it takes a little while for that to happen.
Once freed from our fears we are able to face them together, to find solutions that will allow us to grow, and help us to guide our children through the rougher patches of their lives. It can also help us to reach out to other struggling people with hope and compassion, helping them through their own times of sorrow, into the light of joy!
Let Us Pray:
Dear God, thank you for giving us your love without condition, love that can see us through the struggles of our lives. Please let us remember that we walk through this life together, in the light of the risen Christ. Let us share this light with each other, giving each other hope that can free us from our fears, soothe our pain, and allow us to walk through our times of trial, turning our pain into the joy of living in the midst of your gracious love!