Daily Reflection for Thursday, May 19, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday's readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Acts of the Apostles 15:7-21
Responsorial: Psalm 96:1-2, 2-3, 10
Gospel: John 15:9-11
Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.”
Jesus’s desire for us is joy. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus desires that His profound, deep, everlasting, and sacred joy be ours to have as well. His invitation not to only a selected few, but He desires joy for all of us.
My mind wanders to the times that I have seen joy. It’s tangible, it’s infectious, and it is heartwarming.
When I was young, I had spent some time in the hospital. I can remember when I came home, my brother and two sisters were elated with joy. They were waiting in the upstairs bedroom that I shared with my sisters. As I walked in, they surprised me and were jumping up and down on the beds excited for my return. They were jumping out of pure joy.
I remember the look on my brother’s face when we saw him after his first son was born. His son was only a little over 4 pounds. The expression on my brother’s face is forever imprinted in my heart. It was an expression of complete joy.
We moved to Florida to journey with my mother once her symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease advanced. One day when I was with her, I was helping her straighten out her walk-in closet. She just looked at me and asked, “How long are you staying Margie?” I responded, “I’m here to stay Mom.” She hugged me. It was a hug filled with joy.
I was working as a volunteer at a school in south central Los Angeles before I started my undergraduate studies. My father used to write me such beautiful letters while I was there. He was a gifted writer. One of his letters expressed that he was going to receive the Hispanic of the Year award. It was a recognition for his coordinating efforts in opening an affordable housing apartment building for the elderly. His works expressed such humble joy for the recognition.
Joy. I am grateful that I can recognize how I experience joy. I recognize that such deep joy is often paired with some level of suffering. Joy and suffering dance with each other. I do believe Jesus knows this when he desires this for us. He knows that suffering is part of the journey in following Him and that His sacred joy is woven in it all and keeping step.
May you recognize joy today,
Margarita Solis Deal