My dear brothers and sisters, what makes us rejoice? Because we’ve got something? So if we don't get what we want, does that joy disappear? If so, what kind of joy do we Christians today need?
In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul showed his joy. Because of what? Because his wish was fulfilled? No, it wasn't. Precisely, the joy came from outside of him. What was that? Paul rejoiced because of the spiritual growth of the church. The Thessalonians received, lived, and practiced God's word. They were not only hearers of the word but they were also the doers of the word.
Here we can see that Paul rejoiced not because of material things but more spiritual. Therefore, it was this spiritual joy in him that ultimately made him ignore everything he had ever experienced such as fatigue, distress, and suffering. All of them were replaced with abundant spiritual joy.
Brothers and sisters, how about us? What joy do we have today? Our joy, of course, is not just a matter of good or bad but more than that. Our joy appears when we live the Word of God seriously. And of course, the power of God's word will change our lives for the better.
Then, after we experience the power of God's word, we also must try to show it out. In what way? By becoming leaders, teachers, workers, employees, and students who always radiate love, do justice, fight for the truth, strive for kindness, and are willing to pay attention to those who are weak and marginalized. Amen, –
Reflection on 1Thessalonians 2: 13 – 20 by Fr Risco Batbual, SVD
(Listen to the Podcast here)