“Blessed are they that mourn,” and “woe unto them that laugh” said Christ. How does St. Paul then say, “Rejoice in the Lord always”? The laughter of this world is what Christ talks about when he says “Woe unto them that laugh”. He also blessed those that mourn, not simply for worldly reasons but those who are pricked at heart, who mourn their own faults, and take count of their own sins. For he who grieves for his own faults, and confesses to, rejoices. Because you lead a life of suffering for Christ , rejoice. Or when your communion with God is not hindered, rejoice..
Rejoice in the Lord is a command that we are bound to adhere to. It is not an option. The source of our rejoicing is the salvation. The faith of the church is based on the belief in the Holy Trinity. The love of God the Father, the grace of his only begotten Son and fellowship of the Holy Spirit is more than enough reason to rejoice. How can the trinity be a source of rejoicing for me? I thought it was just another theological teaching .
The love of god the father is accepting human beings as his own children. Imagine that tomorrow a rich millionaire decides to adopt me with no conditions attached. Wouldn’t I be deliriously joyful to inherit all that belongs of the millionaire though I have no reason to deserve any of his wealth? How much more happier should we be that we have been called the children of God. We have seen husbands and wives divorce. But nobody divorces their child no matter how bad he or she is. That is why baptism is a sacrament that is not repeated. Even if I may sin or mess up my life I don’t have to be baptized again to be called His son. To God I am a son just like Jesus is his son. He looks at me and sees Jesus in me. Isn’t the love of God the Father worth rejoicing?
The word grace means to receive a gift that one does not deserve. Similar to the grace time of 10 minutes while writing an exam, grace when a loan doesn’t have to be repaid. What if I am a sinner and I don’t deserve grace? Nobody deserves grace, that’s why its called grace. Sometimes, like the prodigal son we lose everything god has given us. Our purity, talents, our sanity. But His outstretched arms welcomes us back always, each and every time because our sins have been paid for by His blood. When we come here to receive holy communion there are no pay back conditions and list of punishments to be followed to be able to receive his body and blood. If anyone comes to me I will by no means cast him out. Unconditional grace of the son. Isn’t that reason enough to rejoice ?
Because I am a son and I am in the image of lord Jesus forgiven by his grace, I am given something that even prophets in the Old Testament would die to have a little bit of which is the gift of Holy Spirit living in me, guiding me, blessing me, making me in the image of Christ, uniting me with Christ, giving me love joy peace and all the fruits of the spirit. It gives me everything that nothing in the world can give me.
Fellowship of the spirit is sealed in to us in Baptism and confirmed again during our Confirmation. However far can I go from his presence this seal cannot be broken..? Isn’t this fellowship reason enough to rejoice?
Why is it then that we don’t feel joyful? Because we allow our emotions to rule us and not our faith. I am so used to paying for my faults that I can’t comprehend free grace. I cant discern that my sins have been paid for. So I go back to paying heed to my feelings that eventually take me away from God.
Mother Mary’s response to that news of the angel Gabriel is beyond our understanding. Despite the fear and godly wonder and a whole gamut of emotions that must have run through her teenage mind , she allowed her faith to take over and not her emotions. Which is why she said “my spirit rejoices in god”
The lives and examples of all the other saints including St.Paul who went through a lot of torment and yet uttered this verse, is enough reason for us to follow this commandment.
May the love of the Father, the grace of the only begotten Son and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit keep us rejoicing in Him always.