Joy is the buzzword over the seven weeks of Easter. It’s not uncommon that some may find joy more difficult to experience, than the penitential spirit that comes with Lent. To experience joy, we must reflect on what it is. Joy is not frivolity, instant pleasure and based on perfect circumstances.
Joy is a disposition and an attitude. It is a supernatural outlook on the crosses and obstacles we will inevitably experience. In summary, joy comes from within. It is a lens that allows us to discover the blessings of God in the ordinary. If we understand joy as something that comes from within, living it is possible across the 50 days of Easter.
The Gospel scenes after the Resurrection see the characters struggling to live joy. It didn’t come to them naturally. To find the joy of the risen Christ before them, they needed to look deeper rather than at the surface level of their externals.
We might relate to the melancholy of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, who did not recognise Christ walking beside them. Or Mary Magdalene, who had mistaken Jesus for a gardener. We could see our lack of faith in doubting Thomas, who needed to feel the wound of Christ to believe it was really him.
When Jesus died on the cross, he did not promise that we would be exempt of suffering. Instead, he called us to carry our cross in everyday life if we want to be his disciples. Our faith helps us to reframe suffering as something that can work out for the good, and that everything that we experience is a grace – no matter how small and ordinary it is.
Through this lens, joy is something attainable and can be lived especially during the Easter season.