June 10: Wednesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Posted by Campus Ministry on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 6:00 AM PDT

 A sign reading

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'During winter quarter last year in a class on leadership and spirituality, we read an interview with Father James Martin, S.J. that completely changed the way that I viewed Christianity and my faith. The gist of the interview was that we should not seek a life of happiness, but rather a life of joy. This statement shocked me: we live in a world that tells us that if we search for happiness, everything will be fine. But happiness is only an action, not a reality. Joy can be a reality.

In the first reading, we can see that Elijah and the people were not happy all the time, especially in times when it felt like the Lord was not answering their pleas at all. When are we like this? When are we not happy with God? When does it feel like nothing is going our way, like God is not answering our prayers?

After reading the interview I was then faced with the next question that would consume much of my studies at Seattle University: what is joy? For me, joy comes from being open to God, even when nothing is going our way. Just as Elijah did not give up on God in today's reading but rather persisted in faithfulness until God made God's self known, so, too, we are called to persist in our faith in a God of surprises who assures us that love has the final word. Living a life of joy requires first acknowledging that we are dependent on God, and trusting in God’s abiding presence, even in times it is difficult to perceive God. For many, admitting our dependency on God can be scary because where we are dependent, we are vulnerable. I'm afraid of being vulnerable, but I cannot be open to God without being vulnerable -- and it is from openness to God that I find my joy.

Even in difficult times, we can find joy in our openness to God’s presence. Let us join our prayer with the Psalmist today, who says to God with trust: “You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.” When Jesus mentions in the Gospel reading that those who follow the commandments are the greatest in the Kingdom of God, it is not because they are doing everything right, but rather because they are open to God and God's influence on their life. This brings them joy. What brings you joy? How will you be open and with God today?

 

Mariah Nickerson, Class of 2020