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Fifth Sunday After Easter – May 15, 2022

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Fifth Sunday After Easter – May 15, 2022

Jesus’ disciples, confused by his discourse, ask among themselves, “What is this…?” (vs. 17).  Jesus acknowledges their confusion and the questions, “Is this what you are asking yourselves?” (Vs 19).  He gives them a kindness, explaining what he had been saying by way of giving them an oath introduced by the words, “Truly, truly…” or “Verily, verily…” or by “Amen, amen….”  Jesus speaks in this confusing manner because in these words he addresses two different situations.  

First, he is addressing the situation between his death on the cross and his resurrection from the tomb.  The suffering and death Jesus underwent brought weeping and lament from the throats of his disciples and loved ones.  The world, however, rejoiced.  You could say that all three of the world’s estates (government, religion, and the family) conspired to put him to death for the benefit of the many (Jn. 11:50).  The government as Herod and Pilate… Religion as the Pharisees, scribes, and experts in the law… and the family as that gathered crowd whose throats erupted, “Crucify him, crucify him!” (Lk. 23:21), all these (the entire world) came together in Jesus’ death and rejoiced.  This is a brief time of sorrow for the disciples, but it ends with the resurrection.

Second, Jesus addresses the situation of the disciples following his Ascension (Acts 1:6-11) when he was lifted up out of their presence and hidden by a cloud, itself a metaphor for the presence of God (Dt. 31:15 & Mt. 17:5).  The disciples would see him no longer (vs. 16).  They will be sorrowful in his lack of visibility but then that sorrow will turn into joy when he comes again.  Jesus speaks to a situation of these disciples and of all disciples, you included.  You are baptized into Christ, becoming one with him in a death like his, and established in the hope of a resurrection like his.  You live the days of your baptism in a world that rejoiced at the death of Jesus.  It would like nothing more than to work again the death of Jesus who has come to be your life.  That is your sorrow… that is the trouble Jesus promised (Jn. 16:33).  But… but on the last day, when Jesus comes in his glory and your glory is revealed (Co. 3:3-4), on that day there will be much joy!

Table Talk:  Discuss Jesus’ language and the two situations addressed.
Pray:  Heavenly Father, grant me hope at the end of the world’s troubles.

Table Talk

John 16:12 22

12 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

16 A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me. 17 So some of his disciples said to one another, What is this that he says to us, A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me; and, because I am going to the Father? 18 So they were saying, What does he mean by a little while? We do not know what he is talking about. 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me? 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.