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May 9, 2014

“Joy is the permanent pulsation of the soul.”
– G. K. Chesterton

Since Easter is just a couple of weeks behind us, it seems a good time to write about the Virtue of Joy:Easter Joy. In seeking to live an ethical life, we want to do so joyfully, not as if it is a pain and a sorrow to do so.

There is a wonderful book called “Journey into Joy,” by Andrew Walker. It is subtitled: “Stations of the Resurrection.” In the Roman Catholic tradition, we have what are known as the Stations of the Cross – 14 moments in the Passion of Jesus Christ. When we do these stations we re-live with Jesus his suffering and death. In “Stations of the Resurrection” we have the opportunity to rejoice with Jesus and his followers in his life after death. Here are some of these Stations. Can you come up with the others?

I. The Discovery of the Empty Tomb (John 20:1-10)
II. The Angel Speaks to the Women (Luke 24:4-8)
III. Jesus Appears to His Mother (Common sense points to this one)
IV. Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18)
V. The Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35)

XII. The Revelation to St. Paul (Acts 9:3-9)
XIII. The Ascension (Acts 1:6-11)
XIV. Pentecost (Acts 2:1-11)

The heart of the Christian message is not the cross but the empty tomb; it is resurrection and new life. Consider the story of the father and his wayward son, in St. Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 15, his overwhelming joy at the son’s return. Jesus’ first miracle was at a party! In the middle of his Last Discourse, he said to his disciples: “All this I tell you that my joy may be yours and your joy may be complete” (John 15:11).

Connecting this truth to the world we live in, might we say there is joy when:

  • Nations respect one another and seek to live in peace.
  • Employers treat their employees fairly, especially by paying them a just, living, wage.
  • People in business have a reverential attitude toward the integrity of creation; not a domineering attitude that seeks merely to exploit it.
  • Immigrants are given realistic opportunities to use the education they received in their home country, and their skills, with a minimum of red tape, in their adopted country.
  • People want to do “the right thing” not because it is fashionable but because it is the right thing to do.

Men and women who are blessed with an abundance of goods share with those who have little.

Let us be messengers of Joy, witnesses of the Resurrection.


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