“I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” (John 16:33)
It is not God’s will that we should be sad and miserable in life. In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus says to us: “Cheer up, I have overcome the world.” In other words, tribulations may come, but victory is assured. As children of God, the battles we fight have already been won on the Cross of Calvary. So we fight not as victims but as victors.
To be happy when everything is going well with you is normal. But to be cheerful when things are not going well requires faith in God. Being cheerful may not change the situation but it changes us.
Like Paul and Silas who were locked up in prison, being cheerful in the midst of crisis gives us a reason to sing instead of crying. In the end, our cheerfulness boosts our faith to pray which eventually brings about a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
Regardless of what you are facing now, take courage, be cheerful, smile. Know that Jesus has conquered already. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is joy. There is nothing spiritual about being moody, annoyed or depressed.
In the words of St. Paul, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26-27). Anger (depression, hopelessness, uneasiness) gives room to the devil to pollute our minds.
In our first reading today, we read that as soon as Paul laid his hands on the people of Ephesus, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Speaking in tongues is not something we learn, it comes from the Holy Spirit. If we do not have this gift, let us avoid faking it – uttering sounds to give people the impression that we are being led by the Holy Spirit.
Let us pray: Come Holy Spirit, enkindle in us your sacred fire. Amen.
Bible Study: Acts 19:1-8, Psalm 68 and John 16:29-33).