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33rd Week in Ordinary Time
Let the high praises of God be in their throats. (Psalm 149:9)
Imagine being at a championship game where your team won in the final seconds. What do you think you would do? Cheer? Dance? Sing? All of the above?
Now, how long do you think that happiness will linger? A few hours? Maybe a couple of days?
One last question: if you had been to such an event, don’t you think it would be only natural to recall it from time to time, if only to reconnect with that feeling of delight that you experienced?
Today’s first reading and responsorial psalm describe the joy that comes to those who witness the greatest victory in the history of the world: Jesus’ triumph over sin and death. In the first reading, we see the angels joyfully acknowledging that Jesus is the only One worthy to preside over God’s final victory. They are filled with excitement as they anticipate the eternal salvation that he will bring about. Imagine what it will be like, after waiting thousands of years, to see the end finally come!
Then comes Psalm 149, which breathes exuberant joy as it urges us to join in the celebration of God’s goodness and provision. It tells us to sing and shout for joy because the Lord has clothed “the lowly with victory” (Psalm 149:4). It urges us to revisit that joy so that it can take up residence in our hearts.
This strategy for joy, in fact, is the very thing that will help keep us from becoming like the people of Jerusalem in Jesus’ day—the ones who rejected him and failed to see in him the anointed “visitation” of God in their midst (Luke 19:44). If we can recall and revisit all we know about Jesus’ victories in our lives, there’s no way we will turn away from his Spirit!
So try to remember the Lord during your day. Meditate on his resurrection. Recall his goodness to you. Let these memories fill you with joy. Go ahead and dance! Sing! You are on the winning team, so savor your victory. And when you don’t feel all that triumphant, spend a little time anyway. God wants you to recapture his joy!
“Lord, help me reconnect with the joy of your salvation. I want to fill the corners of my life with the happiness and peace of knowing that I am victorious in you.”
Revelation 5:1-10; Luke 19:41-44
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