Joy: Savoring God’s Gifts
“John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man has come eating and drinking,and you say,‘Look,a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’” – Luke 7:33–34 At that very moment, Jesus overflowed with joy from the Holy Spirit and said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth…” – Luke 10:21 “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you… rejoice in that day and leap for joy for surely your reward is great in heaven…” – Luke 6:22-23; cf. Matt 5:11
Can we imagine the joy of Jesus? Dare we imagine him laughing? Joking? To know the Jesus of sorrow, of anger, of fear is sometimes easier for us to believe in. And perhaps this has made our religion a little too sedate and overly serious. Joy is essential to our well-being–spiritually and physically. Joy is tied to gratitude and wonder at the gifts of God. It is what makes life worth living. Perhaps the glow of Jesus at the Transfiguration holds for us a vision of God’s desire for our own fullness of life and passion emanating out to the world from within.