Carmelite Homilies are recorded by Fr. Gregory Houck, O, Carm., following the Cycle of Readings of the Common Lectionary. His preacher’s blog is found at: fathergreg.com
In today’s Gospel Jesus tells the disciples, they will grieve and then they will rejoice. And he uses a metaphor of a woman in labor. When she’s in labor, all she knows is the labor and the pain, and once she’s given birth, all she knows is the joy and the gladness. Saint John of the Cross writes, “Human beings know not how to rejoice properly nor how to grieve properly.” I think he’s getting at what Jesus is getting at in today’s Gospel. We just see the moment – the pain of the moment or the joy of the moment. We don’t see the bigger pictures or plans of what God has in store. That’s the call of today’s Gospel: to trust God when we want to rejoice; to trust God when we want to grieve; to trust God that it will all work out to God’s plan.