Wednesday, May 20, 2020

"Our Grief will become Joy" By Beth DeCristofaro

"Our Grief will become Joy"  By Beth DeCristofaro

So (Paul) left there and went to a house belonging to a man named Titus Justus, a worshiper of God; his house was next to a synagogue. Crispus, the synagogue official, came to believe in the Lord along with his entire household, and many of the Corinthians who heard believed and were baptized. (Acts 18:7-8)

(Jesus said) Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. (John 16:20)

“God, my Father, you love and forgive me, So TODAY I accept all as gift– and ask to find you Lord the Giver in the gift.  I choose to face life without fear and to live wholeheartedly in each present moment . . .” [i]

In yesterday’s Gospel Paul’s evangelization was rejected by the citizens of Athens.  Today we see that he had mixed success in Corinth although it eventually grew into a thriving, alive Christian community.  Did Paul grieve the lack of acceptance? Was he saddened by people who refused an immortal truth?  And, probably, was Paul also sad that his words, personally, were rebuffed?

Jesus’ words are still relevant and poignant.  Today each of us has personal suffering – that’s what being human and alive includes.  Today we are also experiencing worldwide, shared distress which gives increased weight to Jesus’ words.  Through his passion and resurrection, Jesus has already released us for joy.  Our faith makes it possible for us to plumb those depths of joy as we “abide in him.”  One day at a time we can find moments of joy with those we love or in the hopeful, beautiful stories of kindness and generosity coming out of fear and frustration.  We can share God’s joy by reaching out to others in need. We can pray, acknowledging our grief and being thankful for joy, joining with millions who also fear and hope much like the few first disciples who must have felt so very alone, so very exposed, so very empty of answers as to where all their efforts were going to go. 

Jesus reassures us:  your grief will become joy.  Can we accept his joy for us?  Are we stuck in anger or rage at others or the unfairness, the insecurity of the times?  Take time today to acknowledge any joy you experience and take time to savor and be grateful. 

[i] Sr. Irene McCormack, RSJ (Give Us This Day: DAILY PRAYER FOR TODAY’S CATHOLIC), “Blessed Among Us” for May 20, 2020.

Image Credit:  “ Breathtaking Portraits Of Ballet Dancers Practicing On The Streets Of New York “,  photos by Oscar Roble, dancer #60,

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