Jesus rejoiced is one of those phrases we don’t often dwell upon. More than likely, it would be Jesus suffered or Jesus’ suffering.
In Fr. James Martin’s Book, Jesus: A Pilgrimage, he lists from the Bible some of the many times that Jesus, his disciples and those around him rejoiced:
“Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I thank you Father …'”
“The entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.”
“You have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”
“Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.”
“While in their joy they were disbelieving …”
“The disciples rejoiced when they saw The Lord.”
I have always been fascinated with the Joyful Jesus. Since my conversion, I have pictured Jesus smiling, laughing and just enjoying His time on earth. When talking with others, I’ve discovered that a lot of people only picture the Suffering Jesus. When I listen to them speak only of Jesus suffering, it breaks my heart. We are missing a crucial part of Our Lord’s life when we only concentrate on His suffering.
In the early years after my conversion, I read a book called An Experience of Spirit: Spirituality and Storytelling by John Shea. That book was the first one that opened my eyes to the human Jesus. Here I found Jesus rejoicing in the company of his disciples and friends like any human would.
Why do some concentrate on the Suffering Jesus and not the one who rejoiced? My husband says that in my case, I tend to be a positive person so I look at my faith in a joyful way. Even in my prayers, I see Jesus rejoiced, smiling with out-stretched arms and a glint of amusement in his eyes.
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