Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fruits of the Spirit: Joy

“If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love…I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.” John 15: 10-11

Aren’t you sick and tired of going to Mass and seeing nothing but sour, unhappy faces? While not everyone is like this, unfortunately it sometimes seems like people would rather be anywhere then Church on Sunday morning. Where is the joy that should be evidence of our relationship with Jesus? Admittedly, there are plenty of times and circumstances in life where we don’t feel very happy. Maybe you’re going through one of them right now. People get divorced. People dump us. People fight. People die. People move. People get sick. How do we maintain joy even in the midst of trials and suffering? Even when he was in prison, St. Paul was filled with such joy that he would sing songs of praise to Jesus. Don’t you want that kind of joy?

The book of Galatians promises us that if we are living according to the Spirit instead of according to the flesh, that we will bear fruit. In other words, our life in Christ will be evident to us and to others. This joy is possible because it is not based on feelings or circumstances, but on the Person of Christ and upon the Holy Spirit that He sent to us. When we live the life of the Spirit we see things differently. We see with eternal vision. We are able to put all things into perspective: both the good and the bad. And this ability is what enables us to have joy in our hearts and on our lips even in the most troubling of times and even when we feel sad. Let’s pray that today we may be so filled with the Holy Spirit that we may never lose the joy of Christ no matter what life throws at us.

Dear Jesus, no matter what life throws at me, I want my heart to be filled with Your joy. Please give me the grace to base my hope in You and not in the things or activities of this world that so often leave me wanting or empty. Amen.

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