What fills your heart with joy?
There are few piercing and more intimate questions than this one when answered with vulnerability. It is not the same question as what makes you happy because we have many things that make us happy: eating delicious food, completing all the tasks on your to-do list for the day, listening to your favorite band or connecting with a stranger, etc..
The question about what brings us joy delves into a deeper level of meaning and what we value. For a parent, it might be the sight of seeing one’s children sleeping contently. It might be the recognition that you have had an impact on someone else’s life in a positive way. For Christians, we believe the source of our joy is beholding God. Joy might come upon us in our prayer. Joy comes also when we look at another person or creation and see God through them. In those moments, we possess God for whom we long in the deepest core of our being. Jesus reminds us that God desires to bring us this joy: “ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.”
Joy is the impulse that moves us to help others find joy in the Lord. Our joy will be sowed in the tears of those grieving or going through a troubling addiction. Shouts of praise or decrying injustice for the marginalized are other ways our joy might manifest. Joy will be our witness to the truth that God has indeed come to redeem his people from death and slavery to sin. The question, what fills your heart with joy, could be answered in as many ways as there are people. Whenever we experience joy, we partake in the joy of the Risen Christ, who rejoices in beholding us no matter in what condition we are. Let us pray for the grace to live our Christian vocation with joy.
What fills your heart with joy? What does your joy lead you to do? Where do you see God in your joyous experiences?