21.05.2020 — Filling the sorrow with joy

6th week in Easter Time, Thursday – 21st May 2020 — Gospel: Jn 16,16-20

Filling the sorrow with joy

Jesus is preparing the disciples for the overwhelming sorrow that they would experience as he would be arrested and crucified before them. Their hopes would be shattered and their belief in Jesus would be at stake, if they watched their Lord suffer and die. Therefore Jesus prepares them to face the suffering. He contrasts the response of the disciples to his crucified death with the response of the unbelieving world. The disciples will mourn and grieve, but the world will rejoice to see the end of Jesus. In this context, Jesus gives them assurance that, ‘The risen Lord will turn our sorrows into joy as we look to Him in faith and prayer.’ In the first place, Jesus replaces the temporary joy of the world with His permanent joy through His death and resurrection. Secondly, Joy is a healthy state of a believer, which has been often emphasized only by John the evangelist. It is mentioned repeatedly and with a metaphor of the woman in labour (Jn 16,20.21.22).  Thirdly, Jesus states that He wants our joy to be made full (16,24).  It is in prayer that we receive this complete joy. John 15,11 states, “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” Again He says it in His prayer (17,13), “So that they may have My joy made complete in themselves.”