When a child is begotten
Past travails are forgotten.
Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.John 16:20-22
The fear and darkness that enshrouded the disciples on the night of Christ’s arrest in the garden of Gethsemane transformed into joy after his resurrection, but only after an anguished period of doubt and despair.
St. John Chrysostom writes:
And he has used a comparison that the prophets frequently employed, comparing sufferings with the excessive pains of childbirth. What he meant is something like this: “Sufferings like birth pangs will lay hold of you, but the pain of childbirth is a cause of joy.” This confirms his words about the resurrection and shows that his departure from them was like passing from the womb into the light of day. It is as though he had said, “Don’t be amazed that I bring you to what is profitable for you by way of such sorrow, since even a mother, to become a mother, passes in a similar way through pain.” Here also he implies something mystical, that he has removed the birth pangs of death and caused a new person to be born of them. Furthermore, he not only said that the pain shall pass away but also that “she does not even remember it,” so great is the joy that follows; so also shall it be with the saints. And yet the woman does not rejoice because “a human being has come into the world” but because a child has been born to her. For if the former had been the case, nothing would have hindered the barren woman from rejoicing over another who gives birth to a child.Homilies on the Gospel of John 79.1