WEDNESDAY DAY 17
Scripture Reading: Genesis 39:1-2
Many people have this erroneous believe that the joy they need is in their material possessions. Some think the number of cars, houses, and the acquisition of the latest gadgets, fashion trends will guarantee them the joy they need in life. Cardinal Newman says, “The thought of God, and nothing short of it is the happiness of man”. No wonder Pranz Josef Haydn says, “When I think upon my God, my heart is full of joy that the moles dance and leap from my pen; and since God has given me a cheerful heart, it will be pardoned me that I serve Him with a cheerful spirit.”
The bible warns against loving the world and the things of the world. In 1John 2:15-17, the scripture says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the joy of the father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lost of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” Understand this dear reader, material possessions can make you comfortable, they can never give you joy or happiness. Hear St. Bernadette, “Nothing is anything more to me; everything is nothing to me, but Jesus. Neither things or persons, neither ideas nor emotion, neither honour nor sufferings. Jesus is for me honour, delight heart and soul.” True joy and satisfaction come from sincere devotion to the Lord and humility. Is there anyone who would say to himself, ‘I have worked enough. Let me eat and relax, enjoy life for whatever I worked is enough for me’. Day after day, he would remember how much he ought to have made especially when he realizes that his sources of income are going down. His world will change, and at this stage, he could transfer his anger on others, all of a sudden the perceived happiness is lost. When God is at work in your life, the very essence of life becomes real to you. That is why St. Augustine advises thus, “Linger not on the way, stray not from your aim. Let your hope strive always move, always advance keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.”
A true Christian is joyful in all situations and circumstances because of his or her relationship with Christ; who is the Beginning and the End. He is the anchor of your life. He is the foundation on which you stands. His strength and presence cause joy to flow through your being, the ugly situation, notwithstanding. Hear the Psalmist, “God is our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not be afraid (there is joy) even if the earth be shaken and mountains fall, ocean depths; even if the seas roar and rage and the hills are shaken by the violence. There is river that brings joy to the city of God, to the sacred house of the most High. God is in that city . . . .” (Psalm 46:1 – 5).
Real happy people are therefore those who have God in them. The joy of the Lord is their strength. In famine and in plenty they are joyous; because they are confident of the helping hand of God upon their lives. They are certain of their salvation by the grace of God and so joy fills their hearts. Let this mind be in you that God remains the source of joy that is lasting. A man could build a house, have a car, and celebrate such successes but these items cannot sustain his joy if God is not in him. Make God’s presence a daily desire, and you find the exceeding joy that comes from Him!
- Take a song to worship the Lord
- Pray Psalm 51:10 – 12 (meditatively)
- Lord, grant me the grace given to St. Bernadette to hunger and thirst only of you
- I break every worldly passion that has stolen my joy in the name of Jesus
- I renounce the spirit of worldliness and materialism in the name of Jesus Christ.
Exercise: Take the prayer of St. Padre Pio (twice today)
Memory verse: Psalm 16:11