Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord is my strength!
With the Advent season in our midst, and the anticipation of the great celebration of the birth of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, whose divinity and humanity were perfectly manifested through the power of God. This celebration commemorates the beginning of hope for mankind, Christ the magnificent ray of light, the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary is born in a manger in the town of Bethlehem.
The birth of the “Light of Life”, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word manifested in the flesh, born to redeem the world, is the main, sufficient reason for our “Joy in the Lord”! With the great anticipation and preparation of mankind to meet Christ in his final coming, when the Son of Man will be coming upon a cloud with great power and majesty and glory, let us be aware we can meet Christ and receive him in our hearts in the Eucharist at every Mass. Mortal sin is the only impediment in which Christ will not come into our hearts. By the power of the blood of Christ, shed on the cross, through the Sacrament of Penance given by Christ to the Church, our heart and souls are cleansed through a Sacramental confession!
Sacred Scripture affirms that the Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation was given to the Apostles by the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 20:21-23 Jesus exhorts, telling his disciples
…whose sins you forgive are forgiven…..whose sins you retain are retained.
1 John 1:9 states
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Let us rejoice as the angels rejoiced at the birth of the Messiah! At the angel’s annunciation of the news of great joy of the birth of a Savior, the magnificent angelic celebration along with the heavenly host who praising God were saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and peace among men with whom he is pleased. (Luke 2:14)
Let us truly rejoice in the Lord, let our joy be complete in the knowing that God has sent forth a Savior to redeem the world. The birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ the Lord, is the most important and key event in the history of mankind. True joy in a spiritual and religious sense is the great expectation of good, delight and exultation of jubilation in knowing Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Savior, knowing and believing that Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word was born in a manger in Bethlehem. Although Jesus Christ established the New Testament Covenant in his own blood, God, the author and inspiration of all Scripture, wisely arranged the New Testament with the birth of Christ.
In Isaiah 9:1-6, Scripture states
The people who have walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. Thou has multiplied the nation, thou has increased its joy; they rejoice before thee as with joy at the harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, thou hast broken as on the day of Midian. For every boot of the trampling warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore.
Jesus Christ is the “Great Light”, he is the magnificent Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Wonderful Counselor. He is the “King of Kings”, “The Lord of Lords”! In John 8:12 Jesus exhorts
I am the Light of the World. Who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
Let us look at the magnificent, great and wonderful Biblical Words of John in his first epistle:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the words of life – the life was made manifest to us – that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing this that our joy may be complete. (1 John 1:1-4)
Notice the words “That our joy may be complete”! Let us have joy in the Lord, and give joy in the Lord! Let us look at the words in the Old Testament book of Nehemiah! Nehemiah 8:10 states
…for today is holy to our LORD. Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the LORD must be your strength!
Let us look at the magnificent prayer of Hannah, in the book of Samuel. In 1 Samuel 2:1-2, Hannah prays,
My heart exalts in the Lord; my strength is exalted in the Lord. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy like the Lord, there is none besides thee; there is no rock like our God. Scripture gives evidence to rejoice in the Lord, let the Lord be our joy.
Tobit 13:7 states
I exalt my God; my soul exalts in the King of Heaven, and will rejoice in his majesty.
Let us look at the words of the Psalmist who rejoices in the Lord’s protection.
I will rejoice and be glad for thy steadfast love, because thou hast seen my affliction, thou hast taken heed of my adversities, and hast not delivered me into the hands of the enemy; thou hast set my feet in a broad place. (Psalm 31:7-8)
May he grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfill your plans! May we shout for joy over your victory, and in the name of the Lord set up our banners! (Psalm 20:4-5)
The Lord loves those who hate evil; he preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hands of the wicked. Light dawns for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name. (Psalm 97:10-12)
Isaiah 61:10 states
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall exalt in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness.
In Matthew 2:8-10 Scripture gives evidence, when the Magi, the three wise men who were sent by Herod to Bethlehem to find the child, saw the star in the east that came to rest over where the child was, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. Let us like the three wise men rejoice in knowing Jesus Christ.
Let us look and contemplate with sincere meditation at the magnificent words of the great Old Testament prophet Isaiah. In Isaiah 12:3-3, Scripture states
Behold God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Water truly signifies the Holy Spirit, and the well of salvation is the Sacramental grace given by the God in the name of Jesus Christ. Let us look at the consoling words of the Apostle Paul. In Philippians 4:4-7, St Paul exhorts
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice, let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Joy to the world the Lord has come, glory to the King of Kings! Let the love, joy, and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ manifest in our hearts of this great Christmas season.
May God Richly Bless You! Amen! Hallelujah!