Archive for December 28th, 2021

Bouveret: Last Supper

Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret: Last Supper

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Joy and Anguish


 The New Testament brings us the good news of personal freedom and the reality of our individual relationship with God. Joy continues to surprise us as we rejoice in the coming of the Messiah.

The lyrical opening of John’s Gospel foreshadows the joy and anguish that will follow . . . In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. (John 1:1-3) God never guarantees that life will be without pain, but God always promises that the pain will be an opportunity for grace and joy. Coming into the world as a vulnerable child, God brings light to our darkness and joy to heal our pain.

John 16:20 and 22: Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.

Jesus promises that the joy we find in sorrow is infinite and all-encompassing.

John 16:24: Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

Jesus promises that his presence and joy are constant and all-powerful.

John 17:13: But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely.

Jesus promises that his mercy and love are always authentic and just.

John 15:11: I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.

Jesus promises that his grace and hope are forever healing and transforming . . . and he tells us how important we are in God’s expression of joy.

joyAs part of our Christmastide reflection, let us spend a bit of time with Jesus’ Last Supper Discourses and consider the gift of his presence among us.

If this week’s Noontimes call you to search for more ways to encounter Joy or urges you to investigate the New Testament, click on the word Joy in the categories cloud in the blog’s right hand sidebar and choose a reflection, or enter those words in the blog search bar.

Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Supper

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