Daily Gospel Reflection for May 11, 2018

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Today’s Gospel: John 16:20-23

Grief. We all experience profound and unrelenting mental suffering or distress sometime in our life. It may come as a result of a death, a broken relationship, or disheartening news. Everyone experiences the human condition of sorrow in a unique way.

I remember the night I lay curled up in a fetal position and wept from dusk until dawn. Around me, the rest of the world seemed to sleep, but slumber eluded me. I felt alone in the silence as the knowledge of my grandson’s death buried me under the avalanche of heavy anguish. Each time a new image of my son and his wife as they dealt with Jack’s death marched through my thoughts, a new wave of agony engulfed me. It came at intervals. I had a respite of calmness, then acute pain, followed by quiet sobs until the heartache lessened.

But unlike the pains of childbirth, new life didn’t await me. Instead, I faced a visitation and a funeral. I had the choice to feel defeated or hang on to the promise Jesus made to us. “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 16:22.

Faith had taught me that this earth is not our home. That one day Jesus waits for us in heaven. Jack, five months and twenty-seven days old, had gone home. Images of this sweet baby in the arms of Jesus made it bearable. One member of our family had achieved the goal of life – eternal happiness. For Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

With this promise, I faced the day. The joy would come.

Ponder:

Where do I turn when despair and grief overcome me? What gives me comfort during the difficult moments of life?

Pray:

Lord, as we face the trials of day-to-day life, help me focus on the promise of eternal life. Send me the grace to direct my thoughts to my final destination – life with You in heaven. Amen.


Copyright 2018 Virginia Pillars

Virginia Pillars, author of the award-winning memoir, Broken Brain, Fortified Faith: Lessons of Hope Through a Child’s Mental Illness, writes and speaks about the effects of mental illness on families. She contributed to Grief Diaries Poetry, Prose & More and Surviving Suicide. Virginia volunteers for the National Alliance on Mental Illness as an educator/support group leader. She blogs at virginiapillars.com.

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Our Gospel Reflections Team is comprised of over 115 volunteers. We invite you to join us daily to reflect upon the Liturgy of the Word and thank our volunteers for sharing their gifts.

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