April 21, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 66, the exuberant prayer of those who recognize the beauty of God in their lives. They can see Love’s sacred thread, even when it is woven in subtle tones through the fabric of their lives.
I want to be one of those people, don’t you?
But sometimes, life might not look so beautiful. Surely it didn’t for some of the persecuted Christians in today’s first reading. And yet they remained faithful and found joy.
Now those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. …Acts 8:4-8
Thus Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing…
There was great joy in that city.
Joy is not dependent on circumstances. It is a foundational disposition of those convinced of God’s loving and faithful presence in our lives and in all Creation. It is a gift that accompanies faith, nurtures hope, and impels charity.
It is what our soul looks like when it shouts “Wow!” to God.
Say to God: “How awesome your deeds!Psalm 66: 3-4
Before your great strength all contradiction cringes.
All the earth falls in worship before you;
they sing of you, sing of your name!”
We can’t just WILL ourselves into this kind of joy. But we can ask for it, pray for it, plead for it. Such a prayer will turn and open our hearts toward our generous God Who longs to bless us with joy.
Poetry: Joy and Woe – William Blake
Joy and woe are woven fine, A clothing for the soul divine, Under every grief and pine, Runs a joy with silken twine. It is right it should be so, We were made for joy and woe, And when this we rightly know, Through the world we safely go.
Music: Ode to Joy – Ludwig van Beethoven