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Saturday, October 10, 2009

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Joel 4:12-21
Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12
Luke 11:27-28

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continuous, lasting happiness

"A woman from the crowd called out, 'Blest is the womb that bore You and the breasts that nursed You!' " —Luke 11:27

The woman from the crowd called out that Jesus' mother must be happy. Jesus used the opportunity to proclaim that happiness is hearing and keeping God's word (Lk 11:28). The psalmist said the same thing: Happy is the one who "delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on His law day and night" (Ps 1:1, 2). John the Evangelist also proclaimed: "Happy is the man who reads this prophetic message, and happy are those who hear it and heed what is written in it, for the appointed time is near!" (Rv 1:3)

This happiness that comes from hearing and living God's word is not the "happiness" which the world gives (cf Jn 14:27). This happiness is beyond understanding (cf Phil 4:7). It has nothing to do with circumstances, but transcends them. Through God's word, we can be happy even under the worst circumstances, and we cannot lose this happiness against our will (see Jn 16:22).

The prophet Jeremiah was happy because of finding God's word. He said: "When I found Your words, I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart" (Jer 15:16). But Jeremiah also said: "I did not sit celebrating in the circle of merrymakers; under the weight of Your hand I sat alone because You filled me with indignation. Why is my pain continuous, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?" (Jer 15:17-18) Jeremiah was lonely, filled with indignation, suffered continuous pain, and had an incurable wound. Yet, he was miraculously, amazingly happy through God's words. God will do the same for you.

Prayer:  Father, give me a happiness which doesn't depend on circumstances beyond my control.

Promise:  "A fountain shall issue from the house of the Lord." —Jl 4:18

Praise:  Prone to depression, Samantha turns to the Scriptures for joy that lasts.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 3, 2009

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