Daily Office Readings for Saturday after the 2nd Sunday of Easter: Year 2
“When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world.” (John 16: 21)
Perhaps labor pain is the one pain that Jesus did not actually experience but it doesn’t take away from the point he is making, and that is that we go through some discomfort that brings about more than just relief, it brings newness of life and great pleasure.
The book of Ecclesiastes seems to me to have as its running theme that “all is vanity.” This suggests to me that perhaps our whole life is but the off-and-on-again labor of love until we finally come into life as a heavenly being.
The stresses of this life can be emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual. At this writing, we are going through a physical crisis with this Coronavirus, which also impacts the other stresses, the emotional, psychological and even the spiritual.
As a dedicated believer and person of prayer, my default, or go-to, position is the spiritual. Armed with the understanding that I will not live forever (with or without Covid 19), it is the spiritual self I understand that is eternal. So, as St. Peter says in our readings for today:
“The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4: 7 – 11)
Today (April 25) we also remember the Apostle Mark (John Mark) who most scholars believe told the first Gospel. For this reason I recommend that all Christians should read it periodically. It is a short read and cold probably be read in two or three settings. Some people have completely memorized this Gospel and perform it at various Christian venues from time to time.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John