What is the thing that gives you Joy?
There are many things that whenever we remember them we become highly excited. It could be the gift you have. Sometimes it is the position you occupy. It could also be the success that you are having.
Some people become extremely happy whenever they remember their bank account, while some are filled with joy when they feel they have connections etc.
Some people are happy when they think there is something they have that makes them special or unique.
The question then is, as a child of God what essentially gives you joy? Is it how hard you pray? What is the thing that gives you Joy?
Are we going to measure our joy on how holy we think we are? or do we measure it on how powerful we think we are as children of God? What is the thing that gives you Joy?
Is it how much we speak in tongues and shout fire from heaven? What truly gives us joy?
In today’s gospel, the disciples of Jesus returned from their missionary journey and were highly excited because of the mighty works God worked in their midst. Also, the question for us today is “What truly gives you joy as a child of God?”
The Disciples’ Return
When the disciples returned from their missionary work, they were highly excited. Their particular reason for this is “that even the demons submitted to them at the mention of the name of Jesus”.
So, imagine that kind of joy of doing what you have never done before. They were surprised that they could do what their master had been doing. But Jesus says to them “Do not rejoice that evil spirits submitted to you but rejoice that your names are written in the throne of heaven”.
The Thing that should give you Joy.
The disciples are busy talking about how the demons obeyed them. They were extremely happy.
A commentator on this says that their joy knew no bounds, but instead of praising them for the work they did, Jesus refocuses their minds and talks about them being a citizen of heaven.
” ‘I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Yes, I have given you power to tread underfoot serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy; nothing shall ever hurt you. Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven“.
In essence, Jesus is saying that it is true that He gave them power over the forces of darkness, which made the Spirit submit to them. Yet, this should not be the cause of their joy. The cause of their joy is that their names are written in heaven because they have participated in God’s work and brought souls back to God.
Therefore, working, and making serious efforts for the salvation of our souls should be the cause of our joy. Our joy comes in full when we detest sin, go for confession and live a righteous life.
What should give us joy is to recognise always that we are truly making sincere efforts to be closer and connected to God.
Thirdly, like the disciples did today, working for God and serving Him with our hearts should truly give us joy.
In essence, what should constantly give us joy is how many souls we conquer every day for Jesus.
We should Not Measure Our Joy On This.
We should not measure our joy on how much we acquire on earth, how many gifts we have, and how people fall when we raise our hands during prayers. But our joy should be on how close we are to God and how many souls we can win for Him. Relationship with God is what gladdens the soul.
Now the question today is “the thing that gives you joy, is it for the salvation of souls? Is it for your salvation? Are you always happy because of love and closeness with God? or is it because of the things we think that we have that others do not have?
Everything We have belongs to God
While the disciples continue in their excitement, Jesus tells them how Satan falls like lightning from heaven.
In essence, this shows victory over the power of the devil and Jesus has given them this divine power to be effective in their missionary journey. So, the power they worked with was given to them by the Lord.
In essence, the power to be a true child of God and conquer spiritual battles can only come from the Lord.
To show how true this is, the disciples attributed everything they achieved to the name of the Lord Jesus. Hence, instead of praising Himself, Jesus points His face to heaven and glorifies the Father.
He thanks the Father for the glorious work He did by revealing Himself among the little ones; the disciples. This essentially indicates that despite how successful we are, all glory goes to God.
This also shows that the secret of our success in any apostolate comes from the Lord. We don’t have to assume that everything comes from us.
The Lord is the source of everything we have. And only He should be the source of our joy. Every other thing comes and goes but God remains everlasting.
Be happy that you are in good terms with God, be happy that after years of wandering in sin, we are back to our God. Let us always go to Him.
May God bless you dearest and give us the grace to come close to Him. May He give you the power to conquer every challenge in your life. Amen