COMING CLOSER TO CHRIST:
St Paul’s Letter to the Romans contains some of the most beautiful and glorious that he ever wrote: “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?”.
- He claims that no power in the universe is strong enough to separate us from Christ’s love. In other words, God, who knows all of our sins and sinful tendencies (even the ones we don’t know about) never stops loving us. Paul goes on to present a shocking list of different kinds of suffering and tragedy. He includes war, starvation, injustice, death, poverty, fear, and depression. And he says that God’s love is even more powerful than these horrible realities that swarm around us in this fallen world.
- He doesn’t blame God for these tragedies and sufferings. He doesn’t raise his fist to God and say, “Lord, why do you let these things happen!” The devil is the one who wants to use evil and suffering to drag people into despair, hopelessness, self-centeredness, and hard-heartedness. What matters a thousand times more than the reality of suffering in this life is the reality of God’s everlasting love.
As Paul writes: “In all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us.”
SENDING US OUT:
Spread joy! Christian joy is more than a feeling. Christian joy is a virtue.
- Christian joy is based on this amazing fact that nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from Christ’s love. Christ will never be unfaithful, and he will never die. He is always with us, like a good shepherd, always loving us, and so the joy that comes from being loved by him never has to wear out.
- We can spread joy by rooting ourselves in God’s love and bringing that wherever we go. Search to bring joy to those around us: in our personal encounters and in difficult situations. Be joy to those around us.