Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel: “So you also are now in anguish.  But I will see you again, and your  hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.”

Again, he speaks in the near term about his Passion, death, and Resurrection.  But he also speaks in the long term about what many call the “in-between time” that exists between his First Coming and the Second Coming.

In this time, we still deal with suffering, death, and evil in our world.  Things are not always easy.  For some, they might seem never to be easy.  But we know there is a time coming for us when there will be no more suffering…no more pain.  After this life, there is another.  One in which we are united with the Trinity and partake in their divine life for all eternity.  At that time, we will have joy that cannot be taken from us.  There will be no need to ask for anything because we will be so overwhelmed by the beauty and awesomeness of God that we could not possibly need or want anything else.

But does that mean that we have no joy now?  Does that mean that we are back to square one waiting for Jesus like the Jews waited for the Messiah?  No, the end that Jesus talks about is partially realized today.  When Jesus returned to the Father, he sent the Holy Spirit to us.  In this time, despite the continued suffering that we must endure, we know of the Resurrection.  It is not just a hope, but something that we know because of the witnesses that told us.  That Resurrection gives us joy.  Perhaps it is not the complete joy that we will have at the end of time.  But it is a joy, nonetheless.  And it is one that, together with the gifts of the Spirit, can help carry us through what we have in this world.

We do not see Jesus as the Apostles did in their time.  But he sees us.  And he is present to us.  Even though we live here a long way from where Jesus walked with the Apostles.  He sees us.  And he loves us.  From the right hand of the Father.  Interceding for us with the Father. 

Can we think of examples of Christian joy that we have seen in others?  Do others see Christian joy in us?