Daily Reflection – May 6, 2016
Friday 6 May 2016
First Reading: Acts 18:9-18
God is King of all the earth
Psalm 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
Gospel Reading: John 16:20-23
Today’s Note: Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn,
while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.
When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived;
but when she has given birth to a child,
she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy
that a child has been born into the world.
So you also are now in anguish.
But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one will take your joy away from you.
On that day you will not question me about anything.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”
While Paul makes tents all week with his new companions, Jewish Christians Prisca and Aquila who have been exiled from Rome, he then preaches on the Sabbath. For 18 months Paul lived and worked with them, teaching. When there was a change of procurator, the Jews attacked Paul and brought him to the new authority, Gallio. Gallio assured the Jews that their complaints were trivial, “questions about words and names and your own law”. When Gallio dismissed them the Jews seized the synagogue official “and beat him in front of the tribunal” and still Gallio paid no attention. When Paul left Corinth, Prisca and Aquila went with him. Your pain will turn to joy, Jesus promised at the end of yesterday’s pericope, and you pondered that in your own experience. Today’s gospel begins with the same words, only now Jesus adds the illustration of a woman’s labor pains. “No one will take your joy from you.” Indeed, after the birth a baby, many a new parent has experienced mystery. A teachable moment, to let them know that they have touched God in this experience. And, God labors to bring us to birth.
Have you ever like the Corinthians Jews displaced your frustration and rage on the wrong person? Can you make amends (even if the person is dead, you can apologize because the person is very much alive in God)? Imagine God in labor. How God must suffer to birth the planet which we so flippantly misuse, to bring new races and religions to birth (where did these other religions come from but from God?), to lure each of us closer. And what is God’s joy when a star is born, or a baby, or a new way to worship, or an invention to redistribute the wealth and resources of our planet? Just “be” with God in the laboring and in the birthing, in the pain and in the joy!
We join you in joy, God of inestimable abundance! What joy when a sinner repents, Jesus tells us. What joy when the greatest and the smallest worship you, Creating God.