Friday, 15 May 2015

The Trauma and Joy of Birth

10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Daily Gospel with a prayerful heart.
By Malcolm Davies (No.119)
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 16: 20-23
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘I tell you most solemnly, you will be weeping and wailing while the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful but your sorrow will turn to joy.
A woman in childbirth suffers, because her time has come; but when she has given birth to the child she forgets the suffering in her joy that a man has been born into the world.
So it is with you: you are sad now, but I shall see you again, and your hearts will be full of joy, and that joy no one shall take from you.
When that day comes, you will not ask me any questions.’

The birth of our first child was traumatic. After a long labour the baby was in distress and the obstetrician had to make a decision on whether to perform a caesarean. 

Eventually the birth was natural but the umbilical cord was wrapped around the throat of the baby and he was close to death and had no colour when born.
He recovered quite quickly and within the hour was judged to be in normal health. Our anxiety was transformed into joy of our first-born child.

It is that sort of experience that Jesus is talking about in the Gospel today as he prepares the disciples for the trauma of his crucifixion and death. Jesus assures the disciples that they will recover and experience the joy of resurrection in the power of the Spirit.

I invite you to look back at your own life and remember when there was a time of struggle but that enabled you to draw closer to the Lord. 

Maybe when you could not find work, had relationship difficulties or experienced the death of a loved one.

If we are struggling today do we believe that God cares for us and offers unconditional support?

5 minutes: READ the text slowly.
REFLECT on a phrase or word that struck you.
SPEAK to God about your thoughts.
5 minutes: LISTEN to God speak to you.
RESPOND with a prayer that feels right for you.

Malcolm Davies

Next Reflection: Susanne Timpani Sunday 17th May, 2015