Saint for the day: Ignagtius of Laconi (12/17, 1701 – May 11, 1781)
Acts 18:9-18 – Psalm 47 – John 16:20-23
“Were not our hearts burning within us as He explained the Scriptures to us?”
These words of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus sum up all that we’ve been hearing in these six weeks of Eastertide. Yet the Gospels don’t bother to recount what the disciples learned in this encounter. Rather, they take us back to the Gospel of John and all the words Jesus spoke about relating to His impending death, resurrection, ascension and glory in Heaven.
From there ‘The Church’ has added symbolism to help us understand better what the life of Jesus is all about.
There are some scripture scholars who believe that the resurrection, ascension and decent of the Holy Spirit all occurred as one event: one, two, three done! ‘The Church’ has added in the “time frame” in order to help us grasp events that are totally outside of our natural understanding.
Today’s Gospel uses the analogy of a women giving birth to show that all the suffering that we might go through in this life will be turned to joy when we can see the reality of Heaven. That’s an image that women can easily identify with but one that leaves the rest of us on the “male side” at a loss for a clear appreciation of the “joy of birth into a new world.
Comedian, Bill Cosby – talking on the subject of “birth” and our male inability to fully grasp the image – told men to grab on to their upper lip and stitch it up and over the top of their heads in order to experience the real pain of childbirth!
All of the scriptures – from Genesis to Revelation – are about “birth into something new, different and totally beyond our natural understanding and comprehension.
At the risk of being boring and repetitive let me give you my own analogy about the “after life.”
Developing life in the womb is to life in the world as life in the world is to life in Heaven.