Rejoice, the Bridegroom is Here
May 22, 2020
Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter
“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.”
Opening Prayer: Dear God of heaven and earth, I give you all of my distractions so that I may be in union with you for these few minutes of my day. Soften my heart where it is hardened and release me from my selfish and vain ways so that I may be an instrument of your grace.
1. Weeping or Rejoicing?: On Good Friday and Holy Saturday, we wept and mourned for the Lord in our hearts. The world around us was rejoicing because it was springtime. It can be difficult to explain the foreboding and pain Christians sometimes feel during the Holy Week triduum, but the pain is real because the Lord is so dear to us. The beauty of it all, however, is that by dying with the Lord we also rise with him on Easter Sunday. The forty days of weeping makes the joy of victory so much sweeter. And we are grateful to have a fifty-day Easter season to revel in the joy of the Lord’s Resurrection.
2. From Pain to Joy: Giving birth can be scary because the mother knows there will be pain. All pain is forgotten and replaced by joy once the baby arrives. In the spiritual life, Jesus sometimes stretches our hearts beyond our comfort level. We learn that loving is not an easy task but one that, for all its trials and challenges, brings a joy that surpasses all understanding.
3. Whatever You Ask: Our Lord made a bold promise: “Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.” In our prayer life, our petitions are not always answered affirmatively, yet Jesus promised it. St. Augustine clears up the confusion: “Whatever we ask for that would hinder our salvation, we do not ask in our Savior’s name...When he sees us ask anything to the disadvantage of our salvation, he shows himself our Savior by not doing it.”
Conversing with Christ: Risen Jesus, you are the source of my joy. Let that joy take root in my heart so that I can live in your Resurrection and keep in perspective that which makes me anxious. You have conquered death and I have risen with you!
Resolution: Today I will spend five minutes reflecting on your Resurrection and what that means to me in my life.
For Further Reflection: Read Pope Benedict XVI’s reflection on the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus: “Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection”.