October 3, 2020 – 26th Week in Ordinary Time

“Realising that it’s only in the Lord, that ‘one gets a never-fading smile and to remain cheerful – always – be it sunny or rainy!’”

(Based on Job 42:1-3, 5-6, 12-17 and Lk 10:17-24 – Saturday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time)

A lady was crossing a street, when a man walked up to her and said, “Excuse me, Mam… I want to thank you for something!”

Not having recognized him, the lady exclaimed: “But who are you? And what do you have to thank me for?”

“I used to be the security guard,” continued the man, “I would stand at the side gate of your apartment and often notice that whenever you passed by someone, you would give a big cheerful smile.

You don’t know much that smile made a difference to me!

I used to wonder, what makes you to remain cheerful – always – be it sunny or rainy!
And I realised… this happiness came from within!

Then one morning, I saw you walking with a Bible in your hands and going inside a nearby Church…
… and I told myself, ‘Perhaps, that’s where she gets her never-fading smile from!’

And so, that night, I got myself a Bible, and read for some time, and went to the Church the following morning.

Now I can smile too…
… and I want to thank you for helping me to discover God – the source of true joy and happiness!”

The man realised that it’s only in the Lord, that “one gets a never-fading smile and to remain cheerful – always – be it sunny or rainy!”

Have we discovered this “Joy in the Lord?”

The Gospel of the Day invites us to reflect on the theme of “Joy in the Lord”…
… with two instances of rejoicing:

The Disciples rejoicing after their successful mission experience
Jesus rejoicing in the Holy Spirit and thanking His Father for His Infinite Wisdom

One of the essential hallmarks of a Christian is a ‘Life of Joy’.

This was the experience of the Disciples, when they returned back from the mission.

They had enjoyed success in their ministry…
They had a sense of satisfaction in the works that they had done…

They realized that it was the Power of the Lord that enabled them to taste success and relish triumph.

So they rejoiced greatly, saying: “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of Your Name” (Lk 10: 17)

Do we also rejoice, by seeing the hand of the Lord in the success and achievements of our lives….?
… knowing that whatever we achieve, is ultimately not just due to our hard-work and efforts; rather, was the result of our co-operation to the grace of God!
… recognizing that all our talents and opportunities are gifted by God to exhibit His Glory and Honour!

Our Blessed Lord, however also tells the Disciples to go beyond the peripheral joys and happiness in life; instead to rejoice in the Spirit.

St Luke would testify this in the words: “At that very moment, Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth…'” (Lk 10: 21)

This then is what we too are expected to imitate from the Lord: Rejoicing in the Spirit.

St Paul would beautifully explicate this, when he says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil 4: 4)

Our life is to be an inspiring exhibition of the Joy in the Lord and Rejoicing in the Spirit.

Do we radiate joy…
… in our encounter with one another, and spread the cheer of life?
… even in the midst of hardships, knowing that we have a God who is deeply caring for us?
… thanking the Lord for His blessing, above all, for the gift of Himself in the Word and the Sacraments?

There is, without doubt, many reasons for us to be grumpy, to complain and to feel resentment in life.

But can we allow the Power of the Lord to enamour us, and realise that beyond all these, we have a reason to celebrate and to rejoice…
… knowing that ‘God is with us’, to ensure success in our journey of life, with our wholehearted co-operation
… knowing that God is the greatest reason to be happy and the treasure of life Who deserves every glory.

Job, of the Old Testament, allowed the Lord to enamour him with His Presence…
… and thus, even in the midst of immense suffering and hardship, humbling himself, Job could resign himself to the Power of the Lord and say:
“I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees thee; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes!” (Job 2-6)

Let us hold fast to the Lord…
… through the faithful reading of the Word of God daily
… through a disciplined Prayer and Sacramental life
… through the intercession and inspiration of the Saints and Angels
… through living the virtues in our everyday affairs

On this first Saturday of the new month, let’s offer ourselves to the care and protection of our Blessed Mother and offer our concerns to Her Loving Immaculate Heart…
… and learn the secret of true joy from her: Treasuring God’s Word in the Heart and Doing God’s Will always!

Let us realise that it’s only in the Lord, that “one gets a never-fading smile and to remain cheerful – always – be it sunny or rainy!”

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Live joyously among your occupations!”

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