May 26, 2017 - Feastday of St. Philip Neri by Meggie K. Daly
Immediately preceding today’s Gospel passage, Jesus and calls His apostles to trust that better times are coming. Jesus knows that His impending passion and death will break their hearts, shatter their dreams, and will surely leave them confused about how they have spent the last 3 years of their lives.
The apostles do not yet understand that Jesus is birthing the kingdom of God on earth and writing our divine adoption papers with His blood. Only after His resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit will the apostles’ nightmare of the next hours, days, and weeks assemble into the glorious, big picture.
Jesus uses the analogy of childbirth to create a glimpse into the apostles’ future. Four of my children were born completely naturally. I still remember the exhaustion and the pain, despite all the proper breathing and relaxation techniques. I also recall the overpowering joy as I first locked eyes with my newborn baby and gush of maternal hormones that held captive my entire being. Somehow the miracle of life overshadowed the anguish and travail of the birthing process.
It is easy to lose our trust in really bad times. We may face the untimely death of a loved one, a devastating mental or physical illness, the loss of home or job, broken relationships, or just come up empty as we search for meaning in mundane circumstances and monotonous routines. It takes trust to get down on our knees to thank the Lord for the crosses of the day and to muster a childlike trust that tomorrow truly is a brand new day. But that is really what Jesus wants us to do. His Holy Spirit is praying for us when we do not know how and turns our anguish to joy.
What is the area in your life that you find hardest to place in the Lord’s hands and just let go?
Holy Spirit, strengthen me to face each day with joy no matter how the day unfolds; Jesus, help me focus on Your Passion when I am overwhelmed; and Father, help me to trust that You have only the best in store for me.