Gospel: Jn 16:20-23a
Truly, I say to you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy. A woman in childbirth is in distress because her time is at hand. But after the child is born, she no longer remembers her suffering because of her great joy: a human being is born into the world. You feel sorrowful now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice; and no one will take your joy from you. When that day comes you will not ask me anything.
Do not be afraid, but continue speaking and do not be silent Paul experienced much persecution as he proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus. Though imprisoned several times, he never gave up. Throughout his missionary journeys the Lord promised him, “Do not be afraid… I am with you.” Many times we complain to the Lord, “Lord, after all I have done for you, why do you allow me and my loved ones to suffer?” However, discipleship to Jesus does not exempt us from suffering. In fact Jesus forewarned his disciples of their unavoidable persecution. Jesus does not promise to spare us from pain; he promises to be with us in our suffering.
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