Categories: Church

All Saints November 3

When we expect the easing of grief to follow a straight line—imagining that today should be better than yesterday, and tomorrow a little better still—we are shocked and frustrated when another wave of weeping overtakes us. Hope rises, only to be dashed.

To those putting one foot in front of the other on the winding route that is grief, Jesus says simply, “You will laugh.” It is a promise. Weeping will not consume you. Grief will not be allowed to draw the boundaries of your future. Jesus acknowledges the present state of things, and yet, here and now, he sees a different future.

In Luke’s gospel today, Jesus puts that different future into words so we can see it too. These verses do not offer pity or sympathy. They do not give us a to-do list. Here Jesus speaks of a time and place that, without his words and deeds, we could not imagine. He draws the outlines of a future—the reign of God—into which he invites us now.

When in our prayers we give thanks for those who have gone before us, and when we gather at the table of the Lord as one body with saints above and saints below, our words and deeds testify to the future Jesus announced: we are joined with him in divine love so faithful that its bonds are unbroken even by death. Here and now, through tears, we laugh. The Risen One has given us the hope and courage we need to trust him with our future.

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