First Reading: 1Cor 4:1-5; Psalm: 37. R. v. 39a; Gospel: Lk 5:33-39
JOYFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Christian spirituality should be a joyful experience. Prayer and good works are ways we encounter God and as such we should feel happy, relieved and glowing when we pray or do works of charity. If prayer and good works do not bring out positive feelings in us, then our spirituality needs serious attention. It is a fact that there are many people who struggle to pray or do charity because they find it as very tedious and a mere religious obligation. It is not something they enjoy doing but some religious routine they must keep. We can grow beyond this if we give our spiritual life more attention.
The Pharisees complained that Jesus’ disciples do not fast. They tried to compare the disciples of John and themselves with the disciples of Jesus. They feel they are better because they fasted and observed other religious duties. But these men observed these practices of fasting and prayer looking gloomy and sad. It was something they did in obedience to their religious laws and not primarily because they enjoyed doing them. Jesus did not subscribe to this kind of spirituality. Relationship with God should be a joyful experience.
We should serve God in joy. When our spirituality is lived as mere obligation, we cannot find fulfilment in it. Naturally, when we carry out any activity because we are obliged to do so, we cannot derive joy in it; and we may not even give in our best. We should not see our relationship with God as an obligation but a holy choice; so that we can give our entire self to it. Because relationship with God demands the giving of our entire self to God. If we do not feel joyful doing the things of God, then something is wrong somewhere. It is either we are not willingly doing them or we are yet to understand what we are doing.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, help us to understand what it means to follow you. May our relationship with you be strengthened every passing day. Amen.