Jesus tells us today that sadness is always going to be a part of life. That’s not the good news, that’s just the way things are. I think we can all think about things that have made us sad, maybe even more so in these days when we’ve all been sheltered in place, away from each other. We haven’t gotten to see our friends. We didn’t get to have Olympic Day, or any of the fun end of the year activities. Our second graders are all ready for First Holy Communion, but we haven’t been able to do that yet. Then there are the regular sad things: Maybe we have had a good friend who has moved away and we don’t get to see them very much. Maybe we have lost a pet or a toy that we have liked a lot. Maybe we didn’t get picked for a team, or didn’t understand something in school. All those things make us sad.
And some of us have had harder things that have been sad for us. Maybe your parents aren’t getting along or have split up. That’s very sad. Just last week, my family gathered to remember that my father died several years ago. All these years later, I still miss him a lot, and I am very sad – maybe you too have had a grandparent or someone you’re very close to die and you don’t get to see them again. That’s a sadness that doesn’t go away soon.
Sadness is a part of our life, and Jesus acknowledges that. He tells his disciples that he is going away – that he is going to ascend into heaven, which we will celebrate on Sunday – and they will miss him. But he also tells them, and us, that sadness is not forever. He says that it’s just like a woman who is having a baby. She is sad because giving birth hurts so much. But after a while, the baby is born and the pain stops, and she gets to see the beautiful child she brought into the world and is happy again. Your moms probably have stories like that about when you were born! In that same way, the things that make us sad won’t last forever. One day, we will get to see Jesus face-to-face and he will bring us happiness that lasts forever. On that great day, there won’t be anything that can ever make us sad again.
That doesn’t mean that our sadness doesn’t hurt right now, because it sure does. It just means it won’t hurt forever. Because Jesus loves us, we can look forward to happiness forever, even if we have to put up with a little sadness now and then. We can count on the love of Jesus to get us through our bad times, because he promises that he will always be with us, always and forever.
Sadness doesn’t get to rule our lives, because Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! Alleluia!