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Sunday 9 June 2024 Trinity 2, Tenth in Ordinary time, Proper 5

Walking with joy

Genesis 3:9-15; 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1; Mark 3:20-35

By Adrian Cullen

Permanent Deacon and Director of Permanent Diaconate, Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster

Context: Parish Sunday Mass for mixed congregation

Aim: reawakening the sense of joy of belonging to God

TAKING TIME

As the days lengthen and summer comes, it is perhaps a good time to step back from our daily routine, at least for a short while, to look around us and consider where we stand in the world: today, this week, through the year; indeed, to take time to consider, in our life, how close to God do we stand?

The resolutions we made at the start of the year are probably long forgotten, and the plans that we crafted so carefully in depth of winter have been re-shaped beyond recognition as the challenges and distractions of this world have tossed about our lives through the changing seasons. Or maybe, it is rather that the routine and mundane has, well, remained routine and mundane. Life carries on much as before. For many of us, the fresh ambitions that launched a re-energised faith for a new year, for a new life with Jesus, have quietly dissipated, such that we feel more like, as we hear in our first reading from Genesis, the man in the Garden of Eden, to whom God calls out, ‘Where are you?’

JOY OF THE GOSPEL

As the months drift by, there may be times, perhaps more often or not, that that we are overwhelmed by the worries of the world, and find that our lives are less than joyful, even in these summer days of sunshine and holidays. But, as Pope Francis tells us, we may not always be happy, as the challenges of life press on us, but we are always to be joyful. But where does the joy come from?

That joy is to be found through sharing in the life of Christ and in sharing the Good News with others. In celebrating ten years since the publication of Evangelii Gaudium – The Joy of the Gospel (the letter in which he set out the priorities of his papal ministry), Pope Francis calls on us once more to proclaim the Gospel with joy. For, he says, the question is not whether what we proclaim is good news, but whether we communicate that joy. He challenges us: ‘Either we proclaim Jesus with joy, or we do not proclaim him.’

JOY IN THE SPIRIT

Let us spend time, then, being open to the Holy Spirit who reveals the joy that we already have. There is the joy of knowing how close we are to Jesus, as he proclaims in today’s Gospel, ‘Here are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and my sister and my mother’.

And there is the joy of knowing we are always close to our heavenly Father; for as St Paul in his Second Letter to the Corinthians, tells us, ‘... we have the same spirit of faith that is mentioned in scripture… knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn, and put us by his side …’

So, let us not be worried that life moves quicker that we might like, but with joy and with confidence let us strive ahead in sharing the Good News in word and deed, knowing that God is always with us. We are filled with the Holy Spirit, we walk with Jesus as a brother or sister, and in the fullness of time we will be by the side of our Heavenly Father for ever. And in the busyness of the day, or in those quiet moments, when we hear God calling us, let us, answer with the joy, ‘Father, I am here with the new man, your Son Jesus, and with joy I am filled with the Holy Spirit, ever ready to do your will’.

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