Daily Homily: Your Grief Will Become Joy

Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter

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Acts 18:9-18
Psalm 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
John 16:20-23

We can date Paul’s time in Corinth to 51 or 52 AD, when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia. Paul spends a year and a half with the Corinthians, preaching and teaching the word of God. He was reassured by God in a dream or vision at night to continue his witness to Jesus Christ and not be silent. Even though he will be brought before the governor by the Jews, no one will attack Paul or harm him.

The Jews accuse Paul of inducing people to worship God contrary to the law and bring him before Gallio, who is indifferent to the complaint of the Jews. Gallio rejects their case and drives them from the tribunal. Instead of attacking Paul, the Jews seize Sosthenes, who was a synagogue official, and publicly beat him.

The last line of the first reading mentions Priscilla and Aquila. They were a married couple who were expelled from Rome by the Emperor Claudius. They encounter Paul in Corinth and welcome him into their home and work together making tents. Priscilla and Aquila welcomed into their home the Christians who gathered to hear the Word of God and celebrate the Eucharist. «Every home can transform itself into a little church. Not only in the sense that in them Christian love must reign… but still more in the sense that the whole of family life, based on faith, is called to revolve around the singular lordship of Jesus Christ» (Pope Benedict XVI, 14 February 2007).

At the Last Supper, Jesus tells the Apostles that their grief will become joy. This is a law of Christian life. We share in the passion of Jesus and rise with him to glory. We are persecuted for our faith, yet we are consoled and comforted by the presence of God. We live by faith, the beginning of the joy of eternal life. We live by hope and look beyond the sufferings we endure to the promise of eternal life. We live according to love, knowing it alone lasts beyond the grave.

Paul and the early Christians suffered for their faith in Jesus Christ. They were strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit and did not waiver under persecution. They rejoiced that they had been found worthy to suffer something for the name of Jesus. Their joy is not fleeting and is not based on their whims or sentiments. It is based on the conviction that they have become sons and daughters of God through Jesus Christ and receive the divine inheritance of eternal life. In prayer, we lift our hearts and minds to the Father who will grant us our petitions when we ask for what we need in the name of Jesus. God the Father knows what to give us his children and when to give these good things to us.

Readers may contact Father Jason Mitchell at mitchelljason2011@gmail.com.

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Jason Mitchell

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