May 1, 2008
Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter
"A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me." Then some of his disciples said to one another, "What does he mean by saying to us, 'A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me'; and 'Because I am going to the Father'?" They said, "What does he mean by this 'a little while'? We do not know what he is talking about." Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, "Are you discussing among yourselves what I meant when I said, 'A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me'? Very 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.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you (cf. John 21:17). You know when I need consolation and when I need dryness. Help me to accept all things as a gift from your loving hand. This is the simplicity with which I trust in your providence and mercy.
Petition: Lord, may I grow in my confidence in you.
1. What Does He Mean? We frequently don’t understand what God is trying to do in our lives. Much of what he does or allows to happen doesn’t seem to make sense. “Why did this have to happen to me? Where was God in all of this?” We often like to have everything spelled out for us. We want to read the fine print of God’s plan for us so that we can first give our approval. God doesn’t work that way. He first told Abraham to leave his home; only later was God’s plan for his life revealed. Christ first called the apostles; only slowly did he show them what that entailed.
2. Very Truly I Tell You Christ is truth itself. He can neither deceive nor be deceived. He clearly knows what the apostles are thinking, and he clearly knows what they need. He also knows the right moment to reveal his plan: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now” (John 16:12). We have to be ready for what he has to tell us. This requires a great deal of detachment and trust: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me” (John 14:1).
3. Trust Leads to Joy However, following Christ with a trusting attitude brings joy. Our trust in him never leads us down a blind alley. It is when we try to write our own history independent of Christ that fear and frustration ensue. We get ourselves into problems. “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11). Yet to get there, we must make the pilgrimage of faith, a pilgrimage which at times leads through valleys of darkness: Still we go confidently, knowing he is there with his rod and his staff (cf. Psalm 23).
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, it is so easy for me to worry, to rely on my own strength. Help me to confide more in you each day. I know your path will lead to joy, even if I don’t always grasp the route.
Resolution: Today, I will accept the surprises God brings me with a confident and thankful spirit.
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