Faith Daily | 27 May 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 514
whose Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life:
grant that we may walk in his way,
rejoice in his truth,
and share his risen life;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: John 16: 20-23
20Very 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. 21When a woman is in labour, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. 22So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Kay Murry
A dear old Anglican friend of mine, formerly a nurse, totally concurred with Jesus about the pain of childbirth being followed by joy and forgetting the anguish. Her strongly held belief was that it was arranged (by God?) (a man?) that way, - “Oh my dear, we always feel like that afterwards, it’s so we’ll be prepared to do it all again!”
But we do remember the agony of Jesus' death - in awe and wonder at his unimaginably painful sacrifice for us. And we do also rejoice at the amazement of the resurrection - both of Jesus himself and his gift of it to us through him.
Though not so enormous, there can be trials and tribulations in our in daily lives. I believe that Jesus realised the answer to his bereft “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’’ on the Cross was that God was still with Jesus. And I believe Jesus also wants us to know that in our times of feeling crucified by troubles God is with us too, and we can look for and rejoice in the many ‘little resurrections’ and new beginnings that can follow.
According to The New Oxford Annotated Bible’s footnotes, these verses, 20-23, are part of the long “farewell discourse and prayer” that John gives us following on from the Last Supper, with the disciples (minus Judas) still huddled safely with Jesus in the Upper Room.
Jesus is still reassuring his ‘little children’ that yes, there was anguish looming, but there would be amazing joy later, when they recognise him resurrected, ‘which no-one will take from you’: and not just they, the disciples, but the world too will rejoice.
Not only that - this new birth of inestimable joy that will come into the world through Jesus means that prayer about anything to God the Father in Jesus’ name opens Godly answer to our prayer.
BUT…what if the specific ‘anything’ we asked for isn’t given to us?
Could the answer be in Jesus’ words in verse 24? - ‘…Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete’
This says to me that we can trust that the answer that seems ‘wrong’ will in fact lead us, even if it takes longer and goes down paths unimagined, to a joyful wholeness that we could not have envisioned.
FINAL PRAYER From A.A.P.B. Daily Prayers, Thursday morning in Eastertide
who wonderfully created us
and even more wonderfully restored our humanity:
strengthen us by your Holy Spirit to triumph over suffering and death,
and grant us eternal joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen