How did “grief” gate-crash this gala of gaiety? Aren’t we still in the Easter season—with its divine prerogative to rejoice? Who invited “grief” to come and spoil this party?

Well, actually, Jesus did. And he should know a thing or two about grief. As should his mother, and disciples, and friends, and any would-be followers. “You will grieve but your grief will become joy.” Imagine the Risen Jesus (as St. Ignatius did) appearing to his inconsolable mother . . . or to the deflated disciples . . . the melancholy Magdalen . . . the crestfallen companions on the road to Emmaus. If there’s one commonality in all the resurrection narratives it’s that Jesus’ ministry is a ministry of consolation. Where there is grief, weeping, and mourning, he brings joy, comfort, and hope.

Are the latter possible without the former? And, if possible, are they authentic? “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain,” offers the prophet Kahlil Gibran. Grief and sorrow, it seems, are not just preludes to grace but graces themselves.

Fr. Charles Rodrigues, S.J., Associate Novice Director at the Jesuit Novitiate of St. Alberto Hurtado, St. Paul, MN. For more information on Jesuit vocations, click here