May 22, 2020
by Scott McClure
Formerly of Creighton University Magis Catholic Teaching Corps.
click here for photo and information about the writer

Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 295

Acts 18:9-18
Psalms 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
John 16:20-23

Celebrating Easter

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

We are made for joy.

These words are not taken from today’s scripture readings but they may as well have been. Instead, these words still resonate from the homily of my wife’s and my wedding Mass nearly seven years ago. Both then and now, these are words full of hope, but not of a naive sort. No, in these words there is no promise of a life free of suffering just as our wedding vows acknowledged both health and sickness; good times and bad times. Thinking back to this moment when my wife and I exchanged these vows, there was no dwelling on or fear of sickness or bad times; only the joy of knowing we were committing ourselves to one another in love, no matter what may lie ahead. 

Today’s readings offer the same assurance. In John, Jesus tells his disciples you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. Bad times and good times. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice… Jesus says these words with his passion and death looming before him and yet projects hope. To commit ourselves to Jesus and to trust in him is the way to joy. He offers the same hope in a vision to Paul in advance of his (Paul’s) being accused and brought before a tribunal. Paul is unwavering in his hope in the Lord, even remain[ing] for quite some time after this incident before departing for Syria. 

As a wedding gift, our celebrant gave us a copy of his homily. To this day, we hold dear this gift and remember these words. We are made for joy. Soon, we will celebrate Pentecost, Jesus’ gift of the Holy Spirit. Let us welcome this gift and embrace with hope the joy that Jesus promises. 

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