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Read John 16: 25-33

His disciples said, "Yes, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure of speech! Now we know that you know all things, and do not need to have anyone question you; by this we believe that you came from God." Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe? The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!: John 16: 29-33 (NRSV)

Zobeida Carrasquillo lives in Puerto Rico. She taught first grade for more than 30 years. One day, one of her students brought a caterpillar to the classroom. They placed it in a glass jar, along with some leaves and dried twigs. For several days, they watched the caterpillar. One morning, the children were upset because the caterpillar was gone. Instead, resting on a dry twig was a prepupa. Zobeida took that moment to explain the metamorphosis: the prepupa hardens to form a chrysalis and inside the chrysalis, the pupa changes into an adult butterfly. The students kept watch for almost two weeks, but there was no apparent change.

Then one day, a student pointed excitedly toward the glass jar, saying, "It's moving!" The students gathered round to observe as a weak butterfly struggled to break through. It was hard work; the progress, difficult. Zobeida explained to the students that the difficult struggle is what strengthens its legs and wings so that it can fly.

In a similar way, the preparation for our metamorphosis lies in the struggles and pain that strengthen our faith. God is in our every struggle, working with us and for us. And with God's help, we will take flight because God always works for our good.

Prayer: Creator God, we thank you for your constant presence - a loving reminder that you work within us in our struggles to help us grow and remain strong. We thank you in Jesus' name, amen.

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