Daily Meditation: "At that time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit..."
Gospel text (Lc 10,17-24):
The seventy-two disciples returned full of joy. They said, "Lord, even the demons obeyed us when we called on your name". Then Jesus replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. You see, I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the Enemy, so that nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, don't rejoice because the evil spirits submit to you; rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven".
At that time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit and said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and made them known to the little ones. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. I have been given all things by my Father, so that no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and he to whom the Son chooses to reveal him".
Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said to them privately, "Fortunate are you to see what you see, for I tell you that many prophets and kings would have liked to see what you see but did not, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it".
"At that time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth’"
Today, evangelist Luke tells us what brings Jesus to praise his Father for the benefits granted to Mankind. He rejoices for the revelation made to the very simple at heart, to the smaller ones of the Kingdom. Jesus shows his joy when realizing how they accept, understand and practice what, through Him, God tells them. On other occasions, when in intimate dialogue with his Father, Jesus will also praise him for always listening to Him. He praises that leper Samaritan who, having been healed —along with other nine—, is the only one that returned, and with a loud voice glorified and thanked Jesus for the benefit received.
St. Augustine writes: "What can we better carry in our heart, or say with our mouth, or write with the pen, than these words ‘Thanks to God’? There is nothing that can be said so briefly, nor listened to with more joy, nor make you feel with more elation, nor done with more profit". This is what we are always to do with God and our neighbor, even for those gifts we are not aware of, as St. Josemaria Escriva used to write. Gratitude towards our parents, our friends, our teachers, our pals. Towards everybody that may help us, may spur us, may serve us. And logically, gratitude also, for our Mother the Church.
Gratitude is not a very “common” or practiced virtue, and, nevertheless, is one of the most pleasant to experiment. We must admit, though, that it is not an easy virtue to live with. St. Theresa asserted: "I have such a grateful heart that I could be bribed with a sardine". This has always been the saints' demeanor. And they have done it in three different ways, as St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out: first, trough the own awareness of the benefits received; secondly, by praising God externally with words; and, thirdly, by trying to pay back our benefactor with deeds, depending upon our own capabilities.
+ Fr. Josep VALL i Mundó
Audio: Saturday 26th in Ordinary Time