Sorrow turned into joy

By Fr. Dan De Los Angeles May 10,2018
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Sorrow turned into joy

By Fr. Dan De Los Angeles May 10,2018
share this

Thursday, May 10, 2018
6th Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 18:1-8
Gospel: John 16:16-20

Jesus said to his disciples, “A little while and you will see me no more; and then a little while, and you will see me.”

Some of the disciples wondered, “What does he mean by: ‘A little while and you will not see me, and then a little while and you will see me’? And why did he say: ‘I go to the Father’?” And they said to one another, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand.”

Jesus knew that they wanted to question him; so he said to them, “You are puzzled because I told you that in a little while you will see me no more, and then a little while later you will see me.

“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.”

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

Jesus was about to ascend to heaven when he assured the disciples that their sorrow could turn into joy. We find this promise very consoling – we who are saddled with my problems and sufferings. With this promise, at least we have joy to look forward to. Does this mean we must induce a lot of sorrows to have plenty of joy? To answer this question, a distinction between salvific suffering and useless suffering must be made. Poverty is a lot of suffering. But if it is the result of laziness it cannot result to joy. If laziness is the root of all your sufferings today, rise up, get to work and arise from the rubbles of poverty.

The only suffering that results to salvation is that kind which happens to us through no fault of our own. Examples are those sufferings inflicted upon us by some people who abuse their freedom. Since God, the greatest respecter of human freedom, cannot intervene, he makes sure that their victims get their well-deserved merits. They draw salvation from what they suffer.

We must also distinguish between joy and happiness. Notice that Jesus did not say your sorrow will turn into happiness but into joy. Happiness depends on external happenings while joy is something internal. One can still be joyful even if the chaotic environment does not warrant happiness. This explains why most martyrs were serene in the midst of torture. The deacon St. Stephen who was roasted alive by his torturers was still able to crack a joke saying, “please turn my body to other side; this side is quite over cooked!”

Is your suffering useless or salvific? If useless, arise and start anew: life is a gift from God. You’ve got only one life, live it well. If salvific, rejoice, for true joy is close at hand. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.

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