Grace to you!
Yesterday, I reflected that the message of the End Time is hope for the righteous. Rather than being afraid or feeling depressed, we should be delighted that the Lord keeps us in the loop regarding the divine plan for his Second Coming. We have sufficient information from the Lord on how to make best of each moment of our day. No need to be anxious.
Think about this: Isn’t it a privileged for anyone to uncover to you his or her will? To get an insider information about anything is a privilege. It should inspire trust and joy. In a deeper way, to have the privilege of knowing the mind of God because the Lord has revealed to us the substance of it, should cause us to rejoice.
Moreover, it delights the Lord when we understand his will and revelation and respond accordingly. It is the simple and humble heart that understands and responds accordingly. In such a heart, the Lord delights.
From the Gospel of Luke, we read a beautiful message. The Lord gave the message to the disciples after they returned from the “mission of the seventy.” That is, when he sent seventy of his disciples, two by two, to go to the wider community and share the Good News.
“In that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said: “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.” (Lk 10:21)
I am filled with joy to read this message from the Lord. To realize that the Lord is actually excited when someone understands or grasps the gift of his revelation, makes me ecstatic. It’s a beautiful thing to see.
Many biblical scholars regard the above quotation as the “Lord’s hymn of joy.” It is interesting to note that the object of this joy of the Lord is you. It is you when you understand the Lord’s revelation. When you respond in grace to his promptings and revelations.
You may want to know that the Greek word used to describe how Jesus felt, his joy, is egalliasato. It has a sense of someone who is excited and full of exultation and joy for seeing the children win. The object of the joy is about the child. It is selfless.
Imagine you going to watch your child in kindergarten or high school or even college play his or her first baseball competition for the school. Imagine the kind of excitement you will have if your child hits a home run which decided the game.
Or the excitement of watching your child graduate from college when thought, given the child’s past, such a success would be unlikely. I would love for you to think about that very moment. Imagine that kind of joy. It could be used as an analogy to describe the Lord’s joy because you understand his will and revelations. It is also comparable to the joy of childbirth, when the mom carries the new born baby and gazes on the child’s face and sees the beauty.
The Lord’s joy flowed from the Holy Spirit and his praise was directed to the Father. Scriptures says, “Jesus…filled with the Holy Spirit…” It is the joy flowing from Jesus through the Holy Spirit to the Father. It is a Trinitarian joy, a complete joy.
Imagine that the Joy Jesus feels is the Trinitarian joy for you and me. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit share in the joy when we come to believe God’s revelation in Christ. Isn’t this wonderful?
The same applies to revelations concerning the end of time. To understand that the plan of God towards the End Time is for hope and the fulfilment of God’s ultimate plan, inspires the same joy, not despair. When people are despairing because they are reminded of the End Time and all the trials and tribulations that come with it, it could be because they have not realized that all things work unto good for those who love God (Rm 8:28). Could it be that sin has dulled their mind and the thoughts of judgment becomes terrifying?
I pray we work with God’s grace and never put ourselves in a situation where the massage of judgment becomes terrifying. Sin keeps us in that situation. Grace life, life in Christ, righteousness frees us from it.
If worried about events around you and concerned for the future, how about opening your heart to God, asking the Lord to fill your heart with the joy of His presence? God will fill your heart. The Lord’s joy will be in your heart and your joy will be complete (Jn 15:11). Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Tuesday of the First Week of Advent: Is 11:1-10; Luke 10:21-24]