The Promise Of Joy From Pain
The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas
My dear encountered couples:
We continue to celebrate and rejoice over the birth of Jesus. We should. But our celebration should not take in only the enjoyable aspects of the new-born Christ. It should include all that the coming of Jesus encompasses.
Simeon, led by the Holy Spirit, said to Mary and Joseph, “This child is destined to be the downfall and the rise of many in Israel, a sign that will be opposed - and you yourself shall be pierced with a sword...” Why does Simeon have to say something to spoil their day? Seems like some people have that knack.
Some people spoil your day giving you worries over a lot of nonsense, things that will never happen. Simeon was forecasting what would truly be. Mary would suffer much. She must be prepared. But what Simeon does not say is that though sorrow and grief would come, it would reveal God’s love to the world. This sorrow would open the door to happiness.
No matter what the future will bring into your life, you should have no real fear. Jesus, the Son of God, has been born into the world. He continues to live with you. Any sword that might pierce your heart will be two-edged. On one side the pain - on the other the happiness God will bring from it. We rejoice not only over the birth of Jesus, but over the beginning of a life that opens the door to the fulfillment of all our dreams.
God not only has the power to use the unpleasant and evil to produce good, but he actually does it. Do not fear the unpleasant and painful. Don’t seek it nor cause it either. But appreciate it, i.e., evaluate it for what it is worth. The unpleasant can make us treasure that which we already take for granted, and produce much more good in our lives. The birth, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus produce what our hearts desire.