19th MAY 2023

The Fullness of Joy



Acts 18: 9-18;                         Ps 47: 2-3, 4-5, 6-7;                           Jn 16: 20-23




‘Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of Christ risen’ (St. Teresa of Kolkata).


I was walking around the metropolitan area in the early hours of dawn. The roadside litter and haphazardness of the streets distracted me from the beautiful hues of the summer sky. In the corner of a junction, I saw two children sharing food from a leftover plate just outside the closed shutter of a restaurant. They seemed meaningfully engrossed, and thrilled while talking and sharing that bare meal. It made me ponder on the source of true joy.


Where does joy come from? Is it a feeling that can be forced upon someone – or does it come from within you and me? When Jesus told his disciples, that their grief would turn into joy what did he truly mean? Jesus went on to share with his inner circle the example of a woman in labour, which is a period in which a woman experiences one of the most severe pains ever evaluated. During this time there is an actual shift within the body of the mother to make way for her tiny baby to maneuver its way out into the world. While the period of passage causes severe pain, discomfort and suffering, the birth of a child produces much joy.


Joy has the capacity to ease suffering. It is a feeling that can be shared. Jesus shows us that he is full of joy and wants to put this joy into our hearts when he speaks to us in the Gospel, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (Jn 15:11). Jesus wants us to know that he has provided for our future and therefore we must always rejoice, no matter our present circumstances. Just like the children enjoying a meal of leftovers with joy in their hearts, no one can take away the joy we have in Christ Jesus, because joy is not necessarily the absence of suffering, but it is the presence of God.


Response: God is king of all the earth.

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