May 6, 2016
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.” Jn 16:20-23
We find three pretty hope-filled quotes in today’s readings;
The first is Jesus telling us that ‘whatever we ask the Father in
His name, the Father will give us.‘ Our God really is quite generous!
The second is the Lord comforting Paul with the words, “Do not be afraid.” There really are lots of things that can bring us fear in this world: the fear of losing our job, the fear of getting hurt or very sick, the fear of death. But in all those fears – God constantly reminds us not to be afraid – because He is with us always, and we will have eternal life, no matter what happens to us here on earth.
The third hope-filled quote is Jesus telling his disciples and us how grief can be turned into Joy that can never be taken away. If we were asked to list three of the happiest moments in our lives, would our answer be something that immediately comes to mind? Or would we have to think about it for a while. Maybe it was our first job or child. Maybe it was winning a prize or a lottery. Maybe it was getting that first new car or house.
You see, just as there are many things we can fear, there are even more things that can make us happy. But the funny thing about happiness is that it always seems to go away. New gets old. First becomes just one of many. And prizes fade or get spent.
And yet, on the other hand, if we were asked when the most joyful moments in our lives were, would they be different from the happiest times? Or is there, just something different about joy, compared to happiness?
For myself, I find joy when a 5th grader discovers some profound insight about God, all by themselves. That’s the Holy Spirit at work – both in them and in me!
I find joy when I can laugh at something incredibly serious, but so absurdly funny, that it makes absolutely no sense. (like this presidential election).
I find joy in knowing that I don’t have to be afraid of anything, even death.
I find joy in knowing that whatever I ask the Father in Jesus’ name, He will give me. And then I realize that I have to be very careful with what I ask for.
I find joy in just being here with like-minded people who believe in Jesus (even though they never, ever say anything back) : )
You see, joy really is much bigger and more permanent than happiness. And often the things that bring us Joy, only God, only Jesus and the Holy Spirit can give to us. Today, let’s try to see where we can find joy somewhere in our life, and then save that memory forever.
____________________end of post