Daily Meditation: "That my joy may be complete in them"
Gospel text (Jn 17,11b-19):
Jesus looked up to heaven and prayed, "I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world whereas I am going to you. Holy Father, keep them in your Name that you have given me, so that they may be one, just as we are. When I was with them, I kept them safe in your Name, and not one was lost except the one who was already lost, and in this the Scripture was fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you and I leave these my words in the world that my joy may be complete in them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them because they are not of the world; just as I am not of the world. I do not ask you to remove them from the world but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world; consecrate them in the truth —your word is truth. I have sent them into the world as you sent me into the world, and for their sake, I go to the sacrifice by which I am consecrated, so that they too may be consecrated in truth".
"That my joy may be complete in them"
Today, we live in a world which does not know how to be truly happy with the happiness of Jesus, a world which seeks the happiness of Jesus in all the wrong places and in the wrong ways. Seeking happiness without Jesus only leads to deeper unhappiness. Just look at the soaps on TV, there is always somebody in trouble. The soaps on TV show us the misery of a godless life.
But we want to live this day with the joy of Jesus. Jesus prayed to his Father in our Gospel today, "I leave these my words in the world that my joy may be complete in them" (Jn 17,13). Notice that Jesus wants his joy to be complete in us. He wants us to be full of his joy. This does not mean that we will not have crosses, for "the world has hated them because they are not of the world" (Jn 17,14), but Jesus expects us to live with his joy no matter what the world thinks of us. The joy of Jesus is to permeate us to our very core while the superficial rumblings of a godless world should not penetrate us.
Today then let us live with the joy of Jesus. How can we acquire more and more of this joy of Jesus? Obviously from Jesus himself. Jesus is the only one who gives us the true joy that the world is lacking as we see in the soaps on TV. Jesus said, "If you remain in me and my words in you, you may ask whatever you want and it will be given to you" (Jn 15,7). Then let us spend time each day in prayer with the words of Jesus in the Scriptures, let us eat and consume the words of Jesus in the Scriptures, let them be our food, so that we may be satiated with the joy of Jesus: "Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon" (Benedict XVI).
Fr. Thomas LANE
(Emmitsburg, Maryland, United States)
Audio: Wednesday 7th of Easter