Does Joy Last?
What are the things that literally make you leap for joy? Joy can be difficult to have, true joy, not just putting on a fake smile to make other people feel better. What brings you joy? If being a child of God isn't on that list of things, it definitely should be the first. Being a child of God means God has blessed you, created you, given you true life. What is better than having the freedom, the blessing to live? For me, it brings me joy having family around me, writing a new piece of music, seeing a musical. What things should we consider minor to the joy God can bring us?
Today's Gospel states: 'In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechari'ah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever." And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home. Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son' (Luke 1:39-57).
In today's Gospel, the baby in Elizabeth's womb leaps for joy at the sight of Mary, literally leaps! He is so excited, so overjoyed at the sight of the woman who would bear his Lord, Jesus. I'm sure you have had times where you go to mass grudgingly, dragging yourself and watching the clock. We have all had one of those days. However, we should be overjoyed to spend so much time before Jesus, and to receive the Eucharist, we should leap. Take some time to reflect on how you see the mass, on how you act and feel when you go. Ask God to help you be joyful, truly joyful at having the life you have, and getting to remember the good He has done for you each and every time you receive the Eucharist.
Today's prayer comes from 'Cathedral of Saint Matthew' a prayer for lasting joy:
Father, help us to seek the values that will bring us lasting joy in this changing world. In our desire for what you promise make us one in mind and heart. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. AMEN