THE PROMISE OF ETERNAL HAPPINESS!
Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Scriptural Readings: Acts 18:9-18; Psalms 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7; John 16:20-23
My dear encountered couples:
Jesus had risen and ascended into heaven. No longer could his disciples leave all their problems and pains for him to solve and comfort. They would have to face and handle them on their own. Though he was going to send his Spirit to be their adviser and helper, they would experience much suffering before they would again see him. But after it was all said and done, happy times would return and they would spend an eternity with Christ. Looking ahead to that day is what probably kept them going.
“You will weep and mourn,” Jesus had told them concerning his departure. “You will grieve for a time, but your grief will be turned into joy. When a woman is in labor, she is sad that her time has come. When she has borne her child, she no longer remembers her pain for joy that a man has been born into the world. In the same way, you are sad for a time, but I shall see you again; then your hearts will rejoice with a joy no one can take from you.”
The apostles and disciples knew what they were missing. They had walked and talked and lived with Christ. Maybe that is why they were willing and able to take so much. They knew what they were missing, they had already had personal experience of what being with Jesus was like. It would be a reunion for them. For us it will be a first. We have never really seen Christ, we only imagine him from feelings we have about him, and from experiences we sense him present in. I think the promise of eternal happiness with Christ takes a greater leap of faith for us than it did for his apostles and disciples. But the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to take that leap. Look forward to seeing Christ. I tell you truly, that day will most certainly come.
A couple I married 15 years ago gave me a card with a written note. To this day, I still remember those words. “Thank you for reassuring us that “We are made for joy”. Soon, we will celebrate Pentecost, Jesus’ gift of the Holy Spirit. Let us welcome this gift and embrace with hope the joy that Jesus promises.