Joy And Suffering Are Sisters

'Lost and Found' by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.
“Lost and Found” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.

November 20, 2022

May 19, 2022
Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter

John 15:9-11

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that
my joy might be in you and
your joy might be complete.”

Today’s Gospel is so poignant. Jesus is telling his Apostles about Joy. How he wants them to continue to follow his commands. If they do, they will experience His Joy. Through His Joy they will know complete Joy.

Who doesn’t want to experience complete Joy? Whose life wouldn’t be better when you are joyful?

It is poignant because we know he is speaking to them at the The Last Supper. We know what is going to happen later and that’s what makes me sad.

I want to experience Joy just like the next person, but Jesus taught me something especially important.

Joy has a sister, and we can’t know one without knowing the other. Joy’s sister is Suffering.

After the meal with his friends Jesus will begin His Passion. His Passion is full of suffering. How can we know what Joy is if we do not know what Joy is not?

The Catholic Church does a great service to us in helping us to recognize it when we leave Jesus on the Cross.

So many of our sister faiths forget – or want to forget – the Sister of Joy. They only want to see the Victory Jesus has and so their cross is bare.

No matter how we want to put that image away – the image of what forgiveness for OUR sins cost – the Crucifix reminds us, each time we gaze upon it of that price he paid – for us.

Let us each choose to follow his commands and know – through his suffering – he bought us forgiveness.

At least that’s what I heard Him say…

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