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Today’s Gospel comes from Jesus’ prayer and discourse during the Last Supper. He is trying to prepare the apostles for his imminent passion, death, and resurrection. He says: A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me. Their reaction is confusion and sadness. Earlier while on the road to Jerusalem, Jesus also announces his death and resurrection. Hearing the possibility of separation, Peter vehemently rejects what Jesus says. So much so that Jesus says he is thinking and talking like Satan. Now we see the whole community of apostles with a similar attitude. This time paralyzed in confusion.

Separation, death, and the unknown produce fear in us. That attitude of fear leads us to think, act, and talk against faith. Jesus constantly has an attitude of faith and confidence in the presence of God in his life. Joy comes from that faith and confidence. A permanent attitude of sadness, depression, weeping, and mourning come from fear and violence. Many people look to mask or cure their fear and sadness with medication and/or filling themselves with things.

In the end Jesus says to them: Amen, amen all will be joy. The joy of the resurrection overcomes all our fear, sadness, and violence. The rejoicing of the resurrection is central to this Easter season and to every day of our lives. The Easter season is a renewal of our experience of the joy that comes from our daily experience of being part of the resurrection.

When we let ourselves be guided by our confusion, despair, sadness and fear, we are like Peter who ends up talking like Satan or like the disciples who are paralytic at the Last Supper. The readings from the Acts of the Apostles show how after the resurrection the joy of new life permeated their lives so deeply that they were transformed into new people. Rejoicing is a way of life.

Amen, amen, I say to you,

you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices;

you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.