Turning Sorrow into Joy
Friday, May 11, 2018
6th Week of Easter
Gospel: John 16:20-23
Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy. A woman in childbirth is in distress because her time is at hand. But after the child is born, she no longer remembers her suffering because of such great joy: a human being is born into the world.
“You feel sorrowful now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice. And no one will take your joy from you. When that day comes you will not ask me anything. Truly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my Name, he will give you.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
A husband told his wife that if he were a movie character he would like to be Zorro. When the wife asked him what character he’d like her to assume the man said she should be Dacos. Confused, the wife asked for explanation. The man said, “Since I will be Zorro, you will be Dacos because you are ‘the cause of my sorrow’.
Sorrow awaits most married couples that are way past their honeymoon stage. But sorrow is not exclusive to married couples. Priests who are unmarried even have more sorrows, since they have the whole flock of God to attend to. We are all vulnerable. Yet we need not be under the clutches of sorrow all our lives. With Jesus’ promise that he will turn our sorrow into joy there is hope for all. In what is this sorrow-turned-into-joy characterized?
It is an internal disposition that must be distinguished from happiness. Happiness depends on external happenings; joy is something internal. Happiness gives a sense of satisfaction without satiating our thirst for the unlimited and the unbounded. Only joy can fill our souls to overflowing.
Earthly happiness is always incomplete. We are happy in the morning and grow sad just as quickly in the afternoon. At times we couldn’t even remember what we have been laughing about all day as we retire for the night in sadness and loneliness. Happiness leaves us empty too soon because it is fleeting.
Hardly have we reached the climax of it when the devil snatches it away leaving a deep void in us.
But the joy that Christ promises to those who willingly suffer for the kingdom is one that cannot be taken away, not even by the most powerful persecutors. When Jesus promises to turn our sorrow into joy he intends to make our sorrow the steppingstone towards interiority. It is the kind of joy etched in the soul by the stylus of sufferings. The more intense the suffering, the more genuine and defined the joy. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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