"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." John 6:68


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Wednesday of the Twenty-third week in Ordinary Time
Commentary of the day
Blessed Paul VI, Pope from 1963-1978
Apostolic Exhortation "On Christian Joy" - May 9, 1975 - - Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

"And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours."

But it is necessary here below to understand properly the secret of the unfathomable joy which dwells in Jesus and which is special to Him... If Jesus radiates such peace, such assurance, such happiness, such availability, it is by reason of the inexpressible love by which He knows that He is loved by His Father. When He is baptized on the banks of the Jordan, this love, which is present from the first moment of His Incarnation, is manifested: "You are my Son, the Beloved; my favor rests on you."(Lk 3:22) This certitude is inseparable from the consciousness of Jesus. It is a presence which never leaves Him all alone.(Jn 16:32) It is an intimate knowledge which fills Him: "...the Father knows me and I know the Father."(Jn 10:15) It is an unceasing and total exchange: "All I have is yours and all you have is mine."(Jn 17:10) "...You loved me before the foundation of the world."(Jn 17:24) Here there is an uncommunicable relationship of love which is identified with His existence as the Son and which is the secret of the life of the Trinity: the Father is seen here as the one, who gives Himself to the Son, without reserve and without ceasing, in a burst of joyful generosity, and the Son is seen as He who gives Himself in the same way to the Father, in a burst of joyful gratitude, in the Holy Spirit.

And the disciples and all those who believe in Christ are called to share this joy. Jesus wishes them to have in themselves His joy in its fullness.(Jn 17:13) "I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them."(Jn 17:26)

This joy of living in God's love begins here below. It is the joy of the kingdom of God. But it is granted on a steep road which requires a total confidence in the Father and in the Son, and a preference given to the kingdom. The message of Jesus promises above all joy—this demanding joy; and does it not begin with the beatitudes? "How happy are you who are poor: yours is the kingdom of God. Happy you who are hungry now: you shall be satisfied. Happy you who weep now: you shall laugh."

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