That’s how a genuine Christian life can be described. If we only know the true face of Christianity, we would have no other conclusion to make than to be convinced that Christian life is the most beautiful and joyful life.
We would be overcome, overwhelmed and beside ourselves with joy. We should do everything to achieve that kind of life that God himself is actively offering us together with the appropriate means.
Thus, in the responsorial psalm of the Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year A, we are made to say, even to scream in glee: “Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.” (Ps 66,1) And the reason is simple and clear.
Out of sheer, gratuitous love, God created us, and even went all the way to making us, among all his creatures together with the angels, his image and likeness, children of his, meant to share in his very life.
And even if that image and likeness of God was damaged because of our sin, he continues to love us by sending the Son who became man like us to save us. He may have been angered because of our sin and disobedience, but in the end, it was his mercy that prevailed and continues to prevail.
As another psalm would put it, “His anger is fleeting, but his favor lasts a lifetime. Weeping may stay the night, but joy comes in the morning.” (30, 5) We should never forget these divine assurance so we would not waste precious time getting entangled with unnecessary pains and sorrows over our unavoidable earthly predicaments.
Yes, we will always have pains and sorrows in this life. But let’s not forget that as long as we refer them to Christ, everything will always be taken care of. There is no reason for us to remain feeling sad and pained for long. We are meant for joy and for beauty. With God in Christ through the Holy Spirit, we can always have them in spite of the heavy drama we can have in this life.
We have to be wary of our tendency to tackle our earthly affairs by our lonesome, with hardly any reference to Christ. That would be a crazy thing to do. But mysteries of mysteries, we often fall into that condition.
This reminds me of what the genius Albert Einstein once said: “Two things are infinite,” he said. “The universe and human stupidity. But I am not sure about the universe.”
This sad reality of our human condition behooves us to be deeply humble so that we would choose to be guided by our faith rather than by our purely human estimations. We many times prefer to be on our own instead of being guided by God who is actually always intervening in our life.
What can help us in this is to follow what the gospel of the Sixth Sunday of Easter is proposing to us—that we observe God’s commandments faithfully. (cfr. Jn 14, 15-21) By doing so, we make real our love for God, our union with him, our participation in the very life and power of God who can always make possible what is impossible to us.
In practical terms, what we can do is always to look for Christ in everything that we do, in every circumstance and situation that we can find ourselves in. Let’s never be seduced to looking first for some practical objectives when we do things. We have to look for Christ first, and everything else would just follow. Much less should we allow ourselves to be dominated simply by our moods and other outside conditions and factors.
It’s when we look for him that we can have the probability of finding him, and in finding him we can learn to love him, to follow his ways of dealing with whatever human condition we can find ourselves in.
With Christ, life can only be beautiful and joyful, despite whatever!/WDJ