The Joy of the Lord
When Jesus draws close, joy takes possession of us. Luke the Evangelist, who composed his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles so meditatively, kept this theme constantly before him. The last sentence of his Gospel tells us, for instance, that when the disciples had seen Jesus ascend into heaven, they “returned to Jerusalem with great joy” (Lk 24:52). The Acts of the Apostles repeats the theme: “… they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts” (Acts 2:46). They went their way after they had seen the Lord ascend into heaven—and their hearts were filled with joy. From a purely human point of view, we would expect their hearts to be “filled with confusion”. But no! One who has seen the Lord not just from the outside; whose heart has been moved by him; who has accepted the Crucified One and, precisely because he has done so, knows the grace of the Resurrection—his heart must be full of joy. In the acceptance of the Cross, the Resurrection becomes visible, the world becomes new, and hearts overflow with joy. When we hear this, we realize how far from the Lord we still are; how far from the moment with which Luke closed his Gospel. We want to ask the Lord to touch our hearts, to come close to us, to let it be true of us also that we will have great joy and that many will be filled with joy.
Ratzinger, J. (1992). Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year. (M. F. McCarthy & L. Krauth, Trans., I. Grassl, Ed.) (p. 153). San Francisco: Ignatius Press.