It’s fitting that today happens to be the feast of St. Faustina — the apostle of Divine Mercy. Listen again to these words from our first reading from Baruch:
“You provoked your Maker with sacrifices to demons, to no-gods. You forsook the Eternal God who nourished you. For the sins of my children, I am left desolate, because they turned from the law of God…” and yet: “Fear not, my children! Call out to God! He who brought this upon you will remember you. For he who has brought disaster upon you will, in saving you, bring you back enduring joy.”
In Faustina’s diary, we hear Jesus say these words to her: “Let your heart be filled with joy. I, the Lord am with you. Fear nothing. You are in My Heart.”
Let your heart be filled with joy! …enduring joy! In other words:
Let God make you happy forever.
He wants you to experience real, enduring joy.
What kind of Joy are talking about here? The word certainly gets thrown around a lot, but what does it mean?
To put it simply: Jesus Christ wants to give us His own joy.
In fact,Jesus is Himself enduring joy! His joy is complete. Why is he so joyful? Because…. Jesus Christ knows and is known by the Father. That’s the joy he wants to share with us — it is the the joy of salvation.
We catch a glimpse of this fact in our Gospel today, don’t we?
First, the disciples return to Christ filled with… apparent joy — “Lord! Even the demons are subject to us because of your name!”
But Jesus cautions them: “Don’t try finding enduring joy in that sort of thing. Don’t settle for the joy of your own supposedly successful works. Rejoice instead that your names are written in Heaven.
Heaven is the only possible source of enduring joy, because it is my own indestructible Life which I want to give you: Life in the Trinity.
Luke then writes “At that very moment Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike… No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”
Jesus is joyful — Indeed, He IS Joy — This is because He knows the Father, and the Father knows Him. Our salvation depends on so identifying ourselves with Jesus, our joy, that we come to know the Father and are known by Him as well.
And so I say it again: “Let your heart be filled with joy.” Let your heart be filled with Jesus! Is it really so hard to let God make you happy? Don’t we want the joy of Jesus Christ living inside us?
And this brings me to my final reflection on joy:
My brothers and sisters, the Eucharist is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, our enduring joy and our salvation. In an incredible way, here at this altar we are quite literally filled with joy… filled with Jesus. Rejoice in this truth! Many prophets and kings desired to see what you see on this altar… but did not see it.
Receive Him who is our enduring joy.