– Friday 6th Week of Easter –
“Your hearts will be full of joy that no one can take from you” [John 16:20-23]
In today’s gospel, Jesus prepares his disciples for the sorrow they will experience when undergoes his suffering and death. He reassures them of the joy they will experience when they see him again.
As someone who has worked in children’s ministry, I know that children have something to teach us about the joy of encountering Jesus. Sophia Cavalletti, co-founder of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, devoted decades to observing children and recognised something profound in their responses to God. Again and again, their encounter with God was marked by joy; not just happiness or pleasure – but joy – an overwhelming, all encompassing, whole-of-self-sort of joy that made them laugh and jump and squeal with delight.
It calls to mind the cry of Mary Magdalene as she ran to the disciples on Easter Sunday – ‘I have seen the Lord!’ Just as Jesus promised, the unquenchable joy of that encounter remained throughout everything that was to come for her, and for the other apostles.
This encounter with the risen Jesus is not just something we read about in scripture. It is available for each of us today. Jesus invites us to encounter him and to live in the joy that knowing Christ brings! All we have to do is say ‘yes’.
by Chantale Wilson