Jesus said to John’s disciples in reply,
“Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised,
and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.”
~ Matthew 11:4-5
Today is Gaudete (Joy) Sunday. We find joy even in the midst of our emptiness. We find reasons to be happy even in the midst of our lonesome and desolate waiting.
Life and being alive are the main reason why we should be joyful. But that joy vanishes when life is impaired or even lost. Imagine the joy of those who are blind and then recover theirs sight, or the lame being able to walk, or the deaf (like I am) being able to hear, or the dead being raised, or simply hearing some good news to brighten one’s day.
This joy of just being alive cries for perfection and fulfillment. This striving for the joy of perfection and fulfillment can also be seen in nature. Listen to what Isaiah says when he sees the beauty of nature:
The desert and the parched land will exult;
the steppe will rejoice and bloom.
They will bloom with abundant flowers,
and rejoice with joyful song.
What brings us joy today?
The birthday of every child should be an occasion for joy. And yet, millions of babies are killed even before they are born. How can there be joy for us?
People living in peace and harmony should be celebrated with joy. And yet, so many countries and people are at war. How can there be joy for us?
People coming together and sharing a feast at a table should be a joyous event. And yet, so many people go hungry because some of us are so selfish we wouldn’t share what we have even when there is more than enough for everyone. How can there be joy among us?
We have our families to thank and be joyful about for the gift of our life. And yet, there is so much strife and tension in many families. How can we then be joyful?
Just to be alive is to be joyful. And yet, much of the tears we shed we bring upon ourselves.