From Sorrow to Joy


John 16:22 – “Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.”

In other versions of this verse, words like sad, sadness, grief, appear. These words evoke a strong emotion caused by loss, death, mourning. Jesus chose these words to express the feeling he saw in his disciples. He was trying to prepare them for what was about to happen to him, because his time together with them was coming to an end, they were going to feel the loss and grieve for a while.

In a bus station, or an airport, the look on the faces of the people saying goodbye to their loved ones when they go on a long journey is very sad. You seldom or never see people smiling cheerfully when they are saying goodbye.

Then, the absolute opposite feeling to sorrow, is joy.

Jesus told his disciples that he would see them again, that their hearts would rejoice, and that their feeling of grief would be replaced by joy. It would be durable, not momentary, because no one would take their joy away from them, not any man, nor any suffering, not even death.  It would bring them grace, it would bring them forgiveness and comfort, it would bring them atonement, and they would again be in the presence of their loving master.

Meeting Jesus again, to the disciples and to us, would be the same as being in the “Arrivals” section of a bus station or airport. Can you imagine yourself arriving, being received by Jesus, with his opened and stretched arms, feeling his embrace, and hearing his voice saying to you: “Welcome Home!”

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