From the Word of the Day
Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. (John 16: 20-22)
If we observe nature, we see that nothing is born without something dying. Jesus reminds us of this with the example of the seed that must fall to the ground and die in order to produce much fruit. (Cf. John 12: 24) A woman about to give birth suffers much pain when her hour comes, but when she has borne the child, she forgets her suffering for the joy that a new child has entered the world.
Jesus wants to teach us that there is a law hidden in life: suffering is for life and dying is for life. Sometimes we find it difficult to read suffering in this way. Even Jesus struggled to accept the cross, but He accepted it generously. ‘I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance’. After His death that birthed us to life eternal, this truth gives us another chance. Paul says, “I am happy for the sufferings I endure for you and complete in my flesh what is lacking to Christ’s sufferings for the good of His Body that is the Church. (Cf. Col. 1: 24) We are called to help Christ save our sisters and brothers. Suffering lived with Jesus broadens the heart’s horizons and generates life!
‘There is no greater love than to give one’s life for one’ sisters and brothers’. Lord, grant me the grace to know how to suffer with You.
The Voice of Pope Francis
When the Son of God became human, it did not take away the human experience of sickness and suffering, but by assuming them in Himself, He transformed and re-dimensioned them. They no longer have the last word, which is now new life in fullness and when united to Christ, from something negative, they can become positive. Jesus is the way and with the Holy Spirit, we can follow Him. As the Father gave the Son for love, and the Son gave Himself for the same love, we too, can love others as God loved us, giving our life for our sisters and brothers. Faith in the Good God becomes goodness. Faith in Christ Crucified becomes the strength to love to the end and to love even our enemies. The proof of authentic faith in God is the gift of self, of love for our neighbor, especially for those who do not merit it, for the suffering, for the marginalized. (Pope Francis’ message for the XXII World day of the Sick 2014)