Share Your Joy
In the previous blog post, I shared an insight on St. John the Forerunner and Baptist that made my heart leap for joy. At that time I didn’t realize that the same passage would show itself to me again and make me reflect on joy. Br. Seiorse (another monk at the monastery) and I were at a Men’s Group where we the gospel passages of the Theotokos meeting Elizabeth was being discussed.
Joy is a constant theme in the story!
The first time we see it is when the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary finds out that Elizabeth is pregnant. The Theotokos goes with haste to see Elizabeth.
“ In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechari′ah and greeted Elizabeth.” (Luke 1:39-40)
Mary went with haste because she was full of joy, both at what she had heard regarding her child, Jesus, but also at hearing that the barren Elizabeth was with child. This event shows us something about joy.
Joy is to be shared!
Mary, who at times ponders deep and divine truths in her heart, is joyful and goes with haste to share this joy with Elizabeth, and to share in Elizabeth’s joy.
Is there another instance in this story about joy being shared?
What is the response to Mary’s visit?
Elizabeth says “For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.” (Luke 1:44)
John, in the womb of his mother, at the sound of Mary, and filled with the Holy Spirit, leaped for joy! This leaping was a way of speaking to his mother. Since the baby in the womb cannot speak himself, he must find a way to convey his joy and the beginning of his ministry. He announces the Savior and begins to make known the way of the Lord by leaping with joy!
What is Elizabeth’s response to John leaping?
“And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!’” (Luke 1:41-42)
John receives joy from Christ, through the voice of Mary and the ears of his mother, Elizabeth. He then leaps and shares his joy with his mother, Elizabeth. Elizabeth then shouts out joyfully to Mary! Joy continues to share itself!
There is a final exclamation of joy in this story. Mary’s response to Elizabeth’s exclamation is to say “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46-47) Mary returns the joy that she has received back to the source of all joy, God!
Joy is to be shared!
We should make it a point to share our joy with others. In our world, it seems there is constant complaining. Let us share our joy. Let us run to tell others of the great things God has done for us!
Everyone is looking for that deep joy, whether they realize it or not. If they see that we have a deep joy that penetrates our being, they will begin to wonder where we have found this joy. Joy is a key to the new evangelization. Yes, better catechesis is important and necessary. Our catechesis and our faith can never be cold or lukewarm. It must always be joyful! God is the source of all joy, and we must both receive that joy and then give that joy back.
We must run with haste like Mary!
We must leap like John!
We must exclaim joyfully like Elizabeth!
We most rejoice in God our savior with Mary!
When we do this, God will rejoice!
“The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival.” (Zephaniah 3:17-18)
Pray for me.
I’ll pray for you.