Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – Sixth Week of Easter – Friday – John 16:20-23
The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter is John 16:20-23.
Christ continues His Farewell Discourse (John 13:31-16:33) in Jerusalem during Holy Week, preparing the Apostles for their mission after His departure. After revealing how the Holy Spirit will bless and fortify the men with Christ’s word, Christ again acknowledges the sorrow the Apostles will soon experience and assures them of the lasting joy to come.
Christ, the Perfection of Love, perfectly empathizes with the sorrows the Apostles will soon face; He recognizes the Apostles will be distraught (weeping, lamenting) at His Passion. But just as Christ perfectly understands the sorrowful emotions of the Apostles, He also perfectly understands the motivations and seething hate of the evil who will perversely rejoice at His murder.
Ever the King, Christ plants the seeds of hope and healing to fortify the Apostles during their trial. Christ promises the Apostles will experience joy, drawing an allegory of childbirth which is a painful experience but which ultimately results in the extreme joy of new life; so too, Christ’s Passion will lead to anguish and His Resurrection will lead to everlasting joy, a joy that will blot out the Apostle’s anguish. Christ acknowledges the Apostles will grieve but promises He will return and give them unshakeable joy. Because of His return to and unity with the Father, Christ assures the Apostles they will receive everything they request of the Father when they pray in Christ’s name.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ is unified with the Father and the Father grants prayers in the Son’s name. Son of Man, Christ is the perfection of empathy, knowing the sorrow His Apostles will experience. Divine Prophet, Christ offers a preview of the suffering the disciples will experience at His death and the joy they will experience at the Resurrection. Divine Teacher, Christ offers a powerful metaphor of the Crucifixion and Resurrection that men (and even more so women) can understand; the pain of women in childbirth and the joy of new life in children.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Consider the stunning truth that Christ has perfect insight into the deepest thoughts and emotions of every man, both the good and the evil. Pray for His mercy.
2) Because the world hates Christ, evil is in the world (murder of the innocent, sexual perversion, destruction of marriage, government and corporate corruption, evil in the Church, etc.); good men can wonder, “Where is God?” During Easter, review the Church’s teaching on Providence and the Scandal of Evil (CCC 309-314) and take heart, knowing that Christ has things well in hand; pray for Christ’s will to be done.
3) Jesus instructs men to pray in His Name and He promises to grant men’s prayers. During Easter, renew your commitment to pray in the Name of Jesus (CCC 430-435, 2665-2669, 2746-2751), confident Jesus will answer your prayers consistent with God’s will.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ
Virtue of the Day – Faith
Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the sick
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To forgive all injuries