Good morning, happy Tuesday, and blessings.
In this Gospel (John 16: 5-11) for today there is a phrase that has touched me very deep and that is when Jesus says to the disciples: sadness has filled your heart.
Jesus recognizes and identifies the way his disciples are feeling with the whole issue of farewell and separation between them. Hence the promise of the Comforter, someone who will bring us comfort in the midst of sadness.
Sadness is an emotional pain associated with, or characterized by, feelings of disadvantage, loss, despair, grief, helplessness, disappointment, and sorrow. An individual experiencing sadness may become quiet or lethargic and withdraw themselves from others.
Sadness is often mistakenly confused with depression. Unlike depression, sadness is a natural part of life and is usually connected with certain experiences of pain or loss or even a meaningful moment of connection or joy that makes us value our lives. Depression, on the other hand, can arise without a clear explanation or can result from an unhealthy, non-adaptive reaction to a painful event, where we either steel ourselves against our natural reaction to the event or get overwhelmed by it.
Throughout our lives, we are confronted with painful realities, pain from our interpersonal relationships, rejections, frustrations, and the incidental hurts we experience in our interactions with others. We face the pain of existential issues, loss, diseases, and deterioration and, ultimately, death. In addition, most of us harbor a lot of old pain from our past and have implicit memories of difficult emotions we experienced but were too young to make sense of.
The Bible has many examples of sadness and more specific, the psalms are filled with David’s pouring out to God the sadness of his heart. Like David, we often feel that God has abandoned us in our times of sadness caused by those who reject and oppose us. “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” (Psalm 13:2). But God is always faithful and, as David concludes, our trust in God is never unfounded. “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me (Psalm 13:5-6).
The Apostle Peter (I Peter 5:7) remind us that we are attacked by fear. We are attacked by the adversary. And God is greater and stronger than our attacks, says St. Peter in this concluding portion of his letter. It ends on an upbeat but practical note. He tells us how to face life, how to face our spiritual enemy, how to face suffering, and how to face God. Peter instructs us to face life by trusting God: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Don’t let sadness filled your heart. Are you ready to trust God?