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.
— John 16 20-23
The peace of the Lord be with you. I do not know about you, but I am not big fan of suffering. In all honesty, as I think about what my final hours of life might be like, it is not death that gives me pause, it is the question of much will I suffer during that transition. Sorry, I know this is heavy but this something we all need to face — especially those of us who call ourselves Christian.
As Christians, we are called to seek a life that mirrors that of our Savior. We should not seek out unnecessary suffering — that is just senseless, but we also must not actively seek to avoid suffering when we are called to address the “well being of the other”. This suffering will take various forms, most commonly with some form of self denial. We will suffer as we face the fact that some people do not have enough to eat. We will suffer when we face the fact that some children live in homes where parents are stressed and cannot provide them with the emotional security that will form them into resilient adults. We will suffer as we recognize there are conditions we do not have solutions to and that we to called offer comfort to those effected. We are and will be suffering as we maintain social distancing from people, traditions, practices, and treasured institutions for the well being of the common good.
There is good news, however: we NEVER face this suffering alone. We NEVER face this suffering alone. The Gospel today affirms that Jesus, in fact the Blessed Trinity, walks with us every step of the way. Take comfort in the assurance that these moments of suffering will be transformed into a joy and a peace that will never end.
Be at peace my friends, my brothers and sisters, we are united in His loving strength and we are in His ever faithful protection. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.