THE gospel of the feast of St. Matthias on May 14 tells us about how much God loves us, where we can find that love and how that love gives us also the complete joy. (cfr. Jn 15,9-17)

“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.’”

We all know that we are meant to be happy. When we are sad, for whatever reason, we know that it is not supposed to be. And when that sadness is kind of stable, then we usually consider that situation as illness.

We have to learn how to find joy then, its true source, the one that can be attained and felt whatever setting we may find ourselves in. Joy should not be based only on some shallow and shifty ground, like our physical, emotional or social conditions. They are very unreliable foundations, and can be very dangerous.

Joy and happiness can only be found in God, that is, in following his commandments. That’s for sure. He is the source of all good things, the creator and foundation of all reality. And when we mess up things that obviously will lead us to trouble and sadness, he it is who will fix things, heal what is sick, repair what is damaged, recover what is lost.

This is a truth that needs to be emphasized again. Many have forgotten it, or worse, are ignorant of it. Especially the young who obviously need to be properly taught things, they easily fall into a very restricted and distorted understanding of joy, associating it with some bodily pleasures, emotional highs, or favorable social standing.

Many others have sourced it on the possession of good health, wealth, fame, worldly power. This conception of joy is notoriously biased and one-sided. It cannot stand the test of time with all its varied situations. It prospers only during fair weather, not in bad.
We need to go to God to find joy. As a psalm says it very well, “To be near God is my happiness.” (72) We have to strengthen this conviction. Those without God will surely perish and get destroyed sooner or later. That much the same psalm warns us.

And God is neither far nor hidden nor ignorant. That sensation or attitude that we can sometimes have toward God is at best apparent. It’s false and without basis, since the truth is that God is at the very core of our life. And if we have faith, we can actually see him everywhere. And we know he is a father who always cares for us.

The joy that is rooted on God transcends the physical and earthly dimensions. They can be lived even in what may be considered humanly speaking as difficult moments of pain, suffering and privation.

We need to go theological to attain this state of joy. We cannot rely solely on the physical, medical and other worldly elements that go into the making of joy. We need faith. We need to be vitally united with God through Christ in the Holy Spirit.