Joy !…

“With creation, God dos not abandon his creatures to themselves.  He not only gives them geing and existance, but also, and at every moment, upholds and sustains then in being, enables them to act and brings them to their final end.  Recognizing this utter dependence with respect to the Creator is a source of wisdom and freedom, of joy and confidence…” (CCC# 301)

Joy is one of the marks of faith.  Does that mean we go around singing and dancing at every moment of every day ?  No… what it does mean is that we have reason to be joyful, to have hope and consolation.

This very human life we live, is full of challenges, difficulties, obsticles, frustrations, and pain.

Seventy is the sum of our years,

or eighty, if we are strong;

Most of them are toil and sorrow;

they pass quickly, and we are gone.”  ( PSalm 90:10)

So, if this is the case what is it that we have to be joyful about ?

Because we also know that God provides us with Joys to balance against those afflictions and pains.

Mostly, we have Joy because of one thing…. because Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has already won the battle for us.  He loves us.. He died for us… and resurrected and defeated death for us, all because He loves us !

The battle, brothers and sisters, has already been fought and won.  So what is left for us is nothing more than to complete those simple truths that give clarity and insite to the daily work of our hands and souls.

Yes, you say “I know.. but, I hate my job”, “my boss is not nice”, “I don’t have money, and I barely subsist on what is there” or “I don’t have a high position, or a place where I can really make any difference” or ” They didnt accept me, so there is nothing I can do”.

I tell you truly that NONE of that matters.  Remember Jesus told the disciples, ““Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man* has nowhere to rest his head.” ( Matthew 8:20)

Like many of us were told about what a ruff childhood our parents had, when they had to walk to and from school…. uphill …. both ways… in the snow… while living in a cardboard box … in the middle of the street..   ( paraphrased from a Monty Python Skit)

But the challenge comes when you come in contact with a brother or sister who is having a much harder time of it than you are.

I spent 4 years as a chaplain at a local cancer hospital.  That was a journey I was unprepared for, and so very blessed to have been given.  In the service of God through those souls, I was taught more than I will ever teach.  I was given way more than in much greater abundance than I ever gave.  I saw the very face of the living God in those brothers and sisters, and I was the one who received the blessing.

It was difficult.  It was working long hours.  It was being hated, and loved, and misunderstood.  I loved every single minute of it !

God gives us challenges, to teach us.  Like Paul had the thorn in his flesh, Jesus wanted Paul to understand that it was in our weakness, in our pains, and in our very human failings and struggles it is THEN, that we are spiritually the closest to God.

We are given Joy.. in our sorrows, even when death comes near, because we know that God is working with us, and through us to bring about not only our own sanctification, but His most Holy will.

May God give you the gift of His joy.. and peace !


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