Fr Paul Gooley reads from the Gospel of John (16: 20-23) in which Jesus says to his disciples, ‘You are sad now, but I shall see you again and your hearts will be full of joy, and that joy no one shall take from you’.

Fr Paul says the Lord describes the pain of giving birth to the Gospel.

We have the promise of the kingdom in our lives and in our world. But it is difficult to maintain enthusiasm. Building a kingdom is not like building a castle. We are dealing with human beings, free will and grace.

Now and then we have just brief moments when we see some preliminary results of our work. There are times when we glimpse the Lord’s presence and see the purpose of our labour. This gives us new strength to continue and to continue and to continue.

Only at the end, Fr Paul says, we will see how everything fits together. Only at the end will we understand the pain and the promise.