Jesus' joy in us

Today's Gospel (John 15: 9-17) was filled with love - whether as a noun or a verb, the word LOVE occurs nine times in as many verses. Remain in my love... love one another as I have loved you... no greater love... Love permeates it too, in Jesus' assurances of enduring, loving friendship (the word friends being repeated three times). But at Mass this morning the priest drew our attention to a word which only occurs twice: joy - I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you, and your joy be complete.

And my thoughts wandered...

There is something rather lovely - and beautifully, tenderly loving - about Jesus wanting his joy to be in us. In the midst of a pandemic, even on a gloriously spring day, we can be all too aware of despondency, uncertainty and loss: even so, even in heartache, Jesus still wants our joy - his joy in us - to be complete. But of course, we know this completion of joy flows from a selfless, self-sacrificing love; and this is the love, hard though it can be, which must flourish in us, and in which we are called to remain. 

Yesterday having been Julian of Norwich Day, I had re-read and reflected on her Tenth Revelation, which is especially dear to me - so much so, that I used it in my First Vows Mass. And this morning, reminded of joy, I was transported back there... 

With his face full of happiness our Lord looked at his wounded side and gazed at it in joy... And with this our good Lord said very happily: 'See how I loved you,' as if he had said, 'My darling, look and see your Lord, your God, your Creator, your endless joy. See what delight and happiness your salvation gives me. And rejoice with me because of my love.'

Julian ended this Revelation saying that Our Lord showed this to make us glad and cheerful. As we enter a new week, still in a pandemic, still acutely aware of loss, what does Jesus show each of us, to make us glad and cheerful? However we experience it, may his joy be in us, and be complete in each one of us!


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