Pain- be it psychological, emotional, or physical- can affect us deeply. When we hurt, the world can seem a very bleak place. We can feel alone, scared, helpless, depressed. We might become angry at God, wonder if he cares, or even doubt that he exists. At times like this, we need to hear Jesus’ words in today’s gospel. "You will grieve," he promised, "but your grief will become joy."
When Jesus first spoke these words, he was assuring his disciples that their sadness over his crucifixion would be replaced by the joy of his resurrection. But the Lord intends these words for us as well, because resurrection joy has the power to transform our grief as well, by offering us hope.
The resurrection gives us a present hope- a hope for the healing, reconciliation, forgiveness, courage, and strength that Jesus offers us as gifts. And, the resurrection gives us a future hope as well- a hope for a life not only free of sorrow and pain, but one filled with a love, a joy, and a peace we can only begin to imagine now.
Thanks to the resurrection, beyond every one of our Good Fridays lies the hope of an everlasting Easter; beyond every cross we carry, is the promise of an empty tomb.