JOY AND PEACE
It wasn’t easy for the disciples to express what they were going through. They resorted to all kinds of narrative sources. The nucleus however is always the same: Jesus lives and is once again with them. This is what’s decisive. They have Jesus back, full of life.
The disciples meet up with him who had called them and whom they had abandoned. The women embrace the one who had defended their dignity and had welcomed them as friends. Peter weeps on seeing him: he no longer knows if he loves him more than the rest, he only knows that he loves him. Mary of Magdala opens her heart to the one who has seduced her forever. The poor, prostitutes and undesirables feel him near once again, just like in those unforgettable meals sitting next to him.
Now it won’t be as it was in Galilee. They will have to learn to live from faith. They will have to fill themselves with his Spirit. They will have to remember his words and put his actions into practice. But Jesus, the Lord, is with them, full of life forever.
All experienced the same thing: a deep peace and an uncontainable joy. The Gospel sources, always so serious when talking about feelings, underline it over and over: the Risen One awakens in them joy and peace. This experience is so central that one could say without exaggerating that from this peace and this joy was born the evangelizing force of Jesus’ followers.
Where is that joy today in a Church sometimes so tired out, so serious, so little given to smiles, with so little sense of humor and humility to recognize without problem her errors and limitations? Where is that peace in a Church so full of fears, so obsessed with her own problems, so often seeking to defend herself rather than seeking the happiness of the people?
How long can we keep defending our doctrines so monotonously and boringly, if at the same time we don’t experience the joy of «living in Christ»? To whom does our faith attract if at times we can’t even simulate that we live by it?
And if we don’t live from the Risen One, who is going to fill our hearts? Where is our joy going to be nourished? And if we lack the joy that springs from him, who is going to communicate something «new and good» to those who doubt? Who is going to teach how to believe in a more alive way? Who is going to spread hope to those who suffer?
Jose Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf