First Reading: Acts 18:9-18
And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man shall attack you to harm you; for I have many people in this city.” And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. But when Gallio was proconsul of Acha’ia, the Jews made a united attack upon Paul and brought him before the tribunal, saying, “This man is persuading men to worship God contrary to the law.” But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, I should have reason to bear with you, O Jews; but since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves; I refuse to be a judge of these things.” And he drove them from the tribunal. And they all seized Sos’thenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to this. After this Paul stayed many days longer, and then took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aq’uila. At Cen’chre-ae he cut his hair, for he had a vow.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 47:2-7
Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! For the LORD, the Most High, is terrible, a great king over all the earth. He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet. He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves. God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
Gospel: John 16:20-23
Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she is delivered of the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world. So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name.
I can say I have had glimpses of Heaven here on earth. I am a mother and have seen my children laugh and grow. Each day, if I look for it, there are glimpses of heaven.
I have had my share of sadness too, and weeping. The frustration, confusion and eggshells I’ve walked as I lived an unequally yoked marriage were hard for me not to control.
It was hard going to Mass with my husband, an atheist. It was hard walking down the road to our church and trying to grapple with why he was “missing it.” I struggled with wanting to try everything I possibly could to help him see that God was there in the Eucharist. God was there in my conversion, God was there at the birth of our children. Some thought that I would be thrilled at his presence. He had me convinced that he was there just as a support to our family. He didn’t want me to be a mother alone in the pew with a husband who just didn’t believe and wouldn’t go.
In the three years since my conversion, he’s missed Mass twice. Our priest would joke that he was a great model for the Catholic faith, as an atheist, of course. I taught myself not to be happy or sad whenever the topic of faith would come up. I trained myself to live the Little Way as best I could. When he would mention the Pope, ask a question or even mention something on the news that was related to the Church, I would answer and remain stoic. I couldn’t bear how my heart lept at any sign of his conversion. Every time I did, it seemed the light cast from the slight opening of his heart would slam shut.
I will never forget that night he told me “I want to become Catholic.” I had trained myself so well that I barely moved or smiled. He was leaving to Poland the next day on a business trip. God is funny, isn’t He? My husband called from overseas to tell me “Saint John Paul II is like the Coca-Cola of Poland, he’s everywhere.” Still, my heart wouldn’t release. He visited Saint Mary Magdalene church, the church associated with atheist-turned-Catholic Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, which was not lost on him. Still, nothing. I tried, but I was so afraid. I was so afraid that I would say something, anything and the potential, the life I had imagined in full communion with my husband and family would vanish.
He was baptized in March. An atheist for 25 years is now Catholic. In that moment, when the water was poured over my husband’s head, with my children beside me, I was given another glimpse of Heaven.
My grief had transformed into joy because what I had asked my Father in Jesus’ name, He had given me. All those nights of ceaseless prayer, the rosary novenas, entrusting him to Our Lady, all of it, was laid at His feet so humbly and consistently by myself and others. I learned that I will no longer question Him, just as the Gospel says. He will give me what I need and I have to wait and be watchful for those glimpses of Heaven.
What do you ask of Him? What can you lay before His feet in prayer today? Be mindful of the glimpses of heaven God tries to show you every day.
Cristina Trinidad is a married, full-time working mother of two children. She holds a B.S. in Human Resources Management and is just two short classes away from receiving a Masters Degree. She’s also a blog and social media coach. You can find out more about her here.