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Going Deeper – Gospel Reflections

Readings for Friday Mass 5/22/2020

Reading 1 ACTS 18:9-18

One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision,
“Do not be afraid.
Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you.
No one will attack and harm you,
for I have many people in this city.”
He settled there for a year and a half
and taught the word of God among them.

But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia,
the Jews rose up together against Paul
and brought him to the tribunal, saying,
“This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law.”
When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews,
“If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud,
I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews;
but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles
and your own law, see to it yourselves.
I do not wish to be a judge of such matters.”
And he drove them away from the tribunal.
They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official,
and beat him in full view of the tribunal.
But none of this was of concern to Gallio.

Paul remained for quite some time,
and after saying farewell to the brothers he sailed for Syria,
together with Priscilla and Aquila.
At Cenchreae he had shaved his head because he had taken a vow.

Responsorial Psalm 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R.    (8a)  God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R.    God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
He brings people under us;
nations under our feet.
He chooses for us our inheritance,
the glory of Jacob, whom he loves.
R.    God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R.    God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia LK 24:46, 26

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead,
and so enter into his glory.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 16:20-23

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.”

O Mary,

you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain,
keeping your faith firm.
You, Help of Christians and Mother of Perpetual Help,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge,
Holy Mother of God.
Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial,
but deliver us from every danger,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Amen.

Anguish Turns to 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.” John 16:21–22

Anguish in life is common.  In small ways, we will experience anguish each and every day.  And, from time to time, we will experience the very heavy pains of a particular anguish in our lives.

Does an experience of anguish mean you are not in God’s grace?  Does it mean that God has left you?  Or does it mean that you are doing something wrong?  Certainly not.  In fact, all we have to do is look at the life of Jesus to see this is not the case.  He was in constant anguish throughout His earthly life as He continually entered more deeply into the mission of His Father.  Just prior to His public ministry He was in anguish for forty days in the desert.  Throughout His public ministry, He experienced the anguish and exhaustion of His earthly life.  He experienced the criticism of others, misunderstanding, ridicule, rejection, harsh treatment, and so much more.  In the end, we know His fate on the Cross.

Our Blessed Mother had the “sword of sorrow” pierce her heart.  She was misunderstood and ridiculed from the beginning as a result of her mysterious pregnancy out of wedlock.  She carried a perfect love of her Son and anguished over His future as He grew.  She watched many love Him and others harass Him.  She watched His mockery of a trial and His Crucifixion.

But think of their lives now.  They now reign from Heaven as the glorious Queen of All Saints and the King of the Universe.  They live in glory now for eternity.  Their anguish has turned to perfect joy.

Reflect, today, upon your own trials in life.  The Scripture passage above reveals the promise that God makes to those who endure them with faith.  If you feel as though you have been dealt an unfair hand or have been treated unfairly, you are in good company.  The key is to walk through this life with grace and dignity.  Do not let the trials of this life or its pains get you down.  Know that as you remain faithful walking down the path God has set for you, the end result is that you will rejoice!  This is simply a fact.  Hold on to that hope and keep your eyes on the finish line.  It’s worth it in the end.

Lord, I surrender my anguish and burdens to You.  I unite them to Your Cross and trust that You will be there in all things walking with me through my life.  May I keep my eyes on the goal and rejoice in Your steadfast love.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Source of content: mycatholic.life

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