In the First Reading today, we hear that the Lord said of the Israelites, “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” 

That line has always given me such joy, for we know that this promise extends to us. All of the promises God made in the Old Testament were fulfilled in the New. And now we are His people. Imagine that!

God doesn’t need us, yet He wants us. His love is so immense and so unfathomable that we can only imagine a fraction of it. 

I see such loneliness in the world. Sometimes I even feel it myself. But when I read these words, I feel buoyed. We are God’s people. We belong to Him. We can take solace in the fact that, even if no one else in the world wants or loves us, God wants us. God loves us. We are His!

The world can be a crazy place. We have seen an increase in violence, in drug use, in division with our fellow Americans, and in outright hostility. It’s so hard to feel happy sometimes. We look around and see so many reasons for despair. But that is not what God wants for us. He wants us to be filled with joy—joy in Him.

We all know that happiness is fleeting. We don’t feel happy every moment of our lives. And we don’t need to. But joy is different. Joy comes from within—it comes from our relationship with God. Joy fills us when happiness cannot. And the beautiful thing about joy is that it cannot be contained. By its very nature, it must spill over. 

Anyone familiar with Fr. Mike Schmitz knows what I’m talking about, as he is a perfect example of someone who has joy in Christ. Imagine if we all had that kind of joy! What an amazing world this would be.

So, today, I challenge you to read God’s word. Find phrases in the Bible that give you joy. Write them down and put them in places where you will see them multiple times throughout your day. Read books about our faith. Immerse yourself in God’s love. Open your heart and invite Him in. You will be amazed at the transformation.

And never forget His love for us all. We are His people. And we are never alone. 

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