Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”
“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete”
+ Fr. Josep VALL i Mundó
Today, the Church remembers the day when the Apostles chose the disciple of Jesus who was to replace Judas Iscariot. In one of his homilies St. John Chrysostom quite rightly says: “When we are to opt for persons who must have a certain responsibility we may have to face certain rivalries or discussions.” This is why St. Peter “simply ignores the envy that might have arisen”, and leaves it up to chance and divine inspiration —thus, avoiding such possibility. And this Father of the Church goes on saying: “And it just so happens that quite often important decisions may be very upsetting.”
In today's Gospel, our Lord speaks to the Apostles of the joy they should have: that “my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete” (Jn 15:11). And, sure enough, a Christian, like Matthias, will happily live with a quiet joy if he assumes the various events of life from the grace of divine filiation; otherwise, he is bound to be carried away by false annoyances, foolish jealousies or some kind of prejudice or other. Joy and peace are always fruits of the exuberance of our apostolic commitment and of our struggle to become saints. They are the logical and supernatural outcome of love for God, and of a spirit of service towards our fellowmen.
Romano Guardini wrote: “The source of joy is to be found in a person's deeper intimacy… It is there where God resides. Then, joy widens and makes us glitter. And all that is beautiful can be perceived by us in all its brilliance.” When we feel unhappy we must know how to pray along with St. Thomas More: “Lord, give me a sense of humor and I will find happiness in life and profit for others.” And, let us not forget that St. Teresa of Avila also begged: “O Lord, save me from these sullen-faced saints, for a sad saint is a sorry saint.”