Commentary on John 16:16-20
As Jesus continues to speak to his disciples at the Last Supper and briefs them on what is coming they are puzzled when he says, “In a short time you will no longer see me, and then a short time later you will see me again.” They start mumbling among themselves asking what on earth Jesus is talking about. Seeing and not seeing and seeing again and “a short time”. To us it is clear enough that Jesus is referring to his coming suffering and death and his resurrection.
Jesus still does not spell it out clearly but he does warn them that they will be “weeping and wailing” while others rejoice. Jesus’ passion, which will cause them to flee in fear of their lives, will be a traumatic experience. All their beliefs in Jesus as Messiah and Saviour turn to ashes. But there will be others who will be overjoyed over Jesus’ arrest and execution.
The disciples, though, are not to worry because their sorrow will be turned to joy with the dawn of the Resurrection and all that implies. In their own way, the disciples will share the Passion of Jesus as all their hopes and expectations are emptied and turn to dust – only to be revived with the realisation that their Master still lives as Lord and King.
All our sufferings can similarly be turned to joy when we totally unite ourselves with Jesus our Lord and suffer with him and for him, for his Gospel and for the sake of all our brothers and sisters.