Joy

A Rosary Meditation: The First Glorious Mystery, The Resurrection.

“For I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no one shall take from you.” John 16:22.

We thought about the down times yesterday. That sort of thing can get to be pretty depressing. Christianity, despite what some seem to think, is NOT a depressing religion. And that’s because our God is not in possession of a depressing nature. The Divine Nature is one of Love. Real love uplifts us when we’re down.

Everything in the above verse is upbeat. When Jesus sees us and we see him we’ll experience a joy that no one can take from us. Its never ending. Its Heavenly. Literally. There’s a Godly joy in everything, it just takes a little (sometimes a lot of) effort, in this world, to find it. The next world? Our joy is confirmed for eternity. Like the Resurrection, its a new life.

But we’re not there yet, are we? (If YOU are there and you’re reading this I hope you don’t have dial-up internet access because I’d hate to see the long distance bill.) No, we aren’t there yet, but we are HERE and here can be a place of joy too if we look to Christ. I said yesterday ” … I knew it wasn’t OK, and it wasn’t going to be OK. Some things just are what they are. And they aren’t good.” I believe that’s true. Some things aren’t good period. But that doesn’t mean that we need to let these things hinder us from looking to Jesus, who IS always good. And, being the Resurrection and the Life, shares life and its attendant goodness and joy.

Our God is a God of love, and being a God of love He has placed the opportunity for joy in all things. Sin, original or otherwise, hasn’t blotted this out and made it (joy) impossible. Sin has made it harder to see the opportunity or possibility for joy but it hasn’t negated it. A resurrection, a new life, is always possible because with God all things are possible. And the God-given opportunity for joy resides in all of creation, from the complex, which is generally what so many of us (personal experience here) try to make it, all the way to the most simple. A rocket scientist, having perfected a space shuttle and its fuel, could take great joy in the accomplishment and give God thanks and glory. Rocket science is complicated, complex. But if you want to, you can get just as much joy from a well made sandcastle.

So we have the here-after joy to look forward to, and a here-and-now joy to experience if we will. A new life there and a new life here, a resurrection of sorts, if we’re willing. And no one can take either away from us if we’ll only take Jesus at his word.

8 And they read in the book of the law of God distinctly and plainly to be understood: and they understood when it was read. 9 And Nehemias (he is Athersatha) and Esdras the priest and scribe, and the Levites who interpreted to all the people, said: This is a holy day to the Lord our God: do not mourn, nor weep: for all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. 10 And he said to them: Go, eat fat meats, and drink sweet wine, and send portions to them that have not prepared for themselves: because it is the holy day of the Lord, and be not sad: for the joy of the Lord is our strength.” Nehemiah 8:8-10, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … I’ve said before, with thanks to Henry David Thoreau for the quote, that I wouldn’t talk about myself half so much if I knew anyone else half so well. Joy. Lots of folks reading this know I just underwent major surgery. The past several months, the time leading up to the back surgery, were pretty miserable. They ain’t just real great right now, but things are a lot better. A one point I spent about three weeks in bed and on my pity pot. (I hate pity pots.) I finally got so mad at the situation that, regardless how I felt, I MADE myself get up, I MADE myself clean house, I MADE myself get on my exercise bike. It was all an effort. But I’ve promised myself that even though I know I will die (from the cancer) I WILL die trying. So, and I know this thought is getting a tad long but bear with me, I decided that if I could no longer do certain things, well, what COULD I do? There IS joy to be found everywhere because God is everywhere. So I may not be able to dance the Charleston but I now play a really mean kazoo and, having reverted willingly to a part of my childhood, I experience anew the wonders of Sea-Monkeys. If you don’t know what a Sea-Monkey is Google it. If you don’t know what joy is ask God about it. He knows, and He shares.

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