Scripture Reading: Psalms 16:11
Psalms 100:2 admonishes us, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” Serving the Lord is not a burden. Serving the Lord is not an enslavement. St. Augustine said, “My soul rests not, until it rests in the Lord.” Serving the Lord brings our soul the fulfillment and the longing it yearns for. Hence, Cardinal Newman says, “The thoughts of God, and nothing short of it, is the happiness of man.” When we live the type of life that God demands of us, we are fully satisfied by the joy that emits from the knowledge of Him and His presence. Today, brethren, let the joy that comes from the knowledge of Him strengthen us to remain steadfast.” The Holy Spirit enjoins us as those who serve the Lord to radiate the joy, peace, freedom, tranquility, satisfaction that is associated with following the way of the Lord. David sums it up as “pleasure.” Serving the Lord brings us a lot of blessings and eternal peace; but today many believers have opted not to sincerely follow the Lord simply because they believe that in so doing, one is losing out. Some attribute servicing the Lord to living in bondage. Dear child of God, have you preferred to live in sin than to serve God sincerely and in holiness and you think that all is well? Do you have difficulties praying? Do you see going to church as burdensome? Do you see mortification of the flesh by fasting or abstinence as punishment? Do you find it difficult to pray at some uncomfortable hours simple because you do not want to disturb your sleep especially when God wants you to do so? Do you find it difficult attending church activities that are designed to boost your spirituality and only manage to attend Sunday Mass with difficulty? Do you envy those who do evil and are successful? Note that the devil has succeeded in stealing the joy of the Lord from you. This is the joy that 1 Peter 1:8 describes as joy unspeakable. Beloved in Christ, when you are chaste and holy before the Lord, there is an eternal peace and happiness you enjoy that cannot be compared with the “worrisome pleasure” in immoral living. Even Christians who suffer persecution and are killed, do not think that they are just suffering only the pain of the persecution; they are also experiencing the greater joy and glory of encountering the Lord. In (Acts 7:56) Stephen was not overwhelmed by the pain from the stones but was overjoyed by the presence of God in heaven. Blessed child of God, you must never allow the joy of living holy life to elude you. Pope Francis admonishes us thus, “If we wish to follow Christ closely, we cannot choose an easy, quiet life. It will be a demanding life, but full of joy.” He went further to encourage us, “A Christian is never bored or sad. Rather, the one who loves Christ is full of joy and radiates joy.” There is joy in serving the Lord.
MASS: GREEN Gen. 23:1-4.19; 24:1-8.62-67; Ps. 106:1b-2.3-4ab.4c-5(R.1b); Accl. Matt. 11:28; Matt. 9:9-13
- Thank the Lord for the message of today.
- I receive the grace to be joyful in the Lord now and forever in Jesus name.
- O Lord, reawaken in men the zeal and love to serve You always.
- O Lord, let the joy of serving You help me to overcome every demand of the flesh that pushes me away from You.
Exercise: Sit back and check how far you have been drawn away from God and the things of God just for the sake of enjoying what the world offers and what the flesh desires.
Meditation: 1 Peter 1:8-9