St John 16: 16-20
Jesus uses the mother’s experience of the pain of childbirth and the subsequent joy of the arrival of new life, to say something about the reality of the church. The church will undergo discomfort and distress but her sorrow will be transformed into joy.
St Paul will echo similar words to Jesus in his letter to the Romans “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us”.
The cross, our pains and sufferings are not an end in themselves. In the midst of our adversities, it can be very difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Like Christ, our crosses can be redemptive and lead to the glory of Resurrection, a new life and a new beginning.
Of course, not all suffering comes from God or has anything to do with God. Some suffering, in his wisdom, he does permit. It is this type, that is the teacher and which assures us of that joy, that no one can take from us.