The joy is indispensable to an authentic Christian life

Call to joy. Leap out of spiritual joy, invitation to delight.

This is the great invitation the Church addresses to everyone of us. `Good men, rejoice, be radiant of joy. Come to take part at the feast of the Holy Mother of God, at the feast of delight. Come together with the bodiless powers, with the angels, shout out on all roads your joy: `Rejoice, Holy Mother of God, forever Virgin.`

The expression `rejoice` is the invitation to joy the Church addressed to us, the faithful, as long time ago archangel Gabriel call the Holy Mother of God to rejoice. We hear it when we are invited to take part at the feast in the honor of the Holy Mother of God, the Mother of all of us.

At this feast it is heard only one blessed message, like a sweet drunkenness: rejoice.

This is the treasure of the Church and its entire splendour.

`Rejoice` is the `order`  archangel Gabriel addressed to Virgin Mary but also the great gift for the man of the Virgin, the embodiment of the whole Church.

It was revealed in this way that joy is an intrinsic attribute of the divine. The greeting `rejoice` proves is perfectly.

The joy in the honor of the Holy Mother of God, she being a vessel of joy herself, is the wealth of the Church for the afterlife, into eternity.

The church glories with hymns and chants `the chosen vessel of joy` which is the Holy Mother of God.

The church aims that no man remains estranged of the great feast of joy, as it doesn`t keep the joy under bushel and doesn`t keep it only for itself.

The Holy Mother of God is not only the daughter of grace but also its Mother who received the joy and gives it as a gift to the believers. Here lies its splendor

The blessed net of giving and receiving joy leads our mind to a moving reality :

The Church is the spring of joy, the only spring and home of joy in this world.

Moreover, the joy is the privilege reserved exclusively to the Christians. The urge: `rejoice` said in the Akathists and also expressed by the mouth of Saint Paul the Apostle `rejoice all the time` are indispensable premises of any authentic Christian life. The joy is the attribute and the distinctive feature of the real Christian. Out of the Church it lives the bored and joyless world  (`hara` – `joy`, a-haros` means `boring, vapid, colorless, joyless, stranger to joy).

In the Church it is found the incarnated Joy, the Incarnated Word of God, the fulfillment of joy, the delight and bliss.

Those who disregard the joy in Christianity make a big mistake as in this way they annul the meaning of the urge of the Archangel, of the Akathists, distorting the foundation of the Christian life.

With all these insistent and warm urges of the Church to rejoice very few are the Christians whose life is one of real joy. Unfortunately, many times we are not able to welcome joy.

We are grown and educated in a spirit of sadness and of despair. The invitation of the Church to take part at the wonderful feast of joy finds us unprepared and incapable to answer it as we should. We prove we didn`t understand well the fact that joy is the defining and essential element of our identity of Christians and the notions of joy and Christians are absolutely unseparable.

I think that first of all the cause is disobedience, the difference between the attitude the Holy Mother of God had regarding the order of rejoicing coming from God and our own attitude towards the same order.

The Holy Mother of God accomplished the order of God and rejoiced. She didn`t say any word about the urge to rejoice coming from the Angel, she simply let it pass gently from the mouth of the Angel into her heart.

She let Christ become her joy.

God addresses to us too the call to joy through the Church but we don`t listen to it. Moreover we oppose it. In a world of pains, misfortunes, wars, mourning, death, violence, restrictions, how to become a `vessel of joy`?

It seems absolutely impossible.

The snake of disobedience, of opposition, of fierce faithlessness hover about our heart impeding it to rejoice and making it impossible the rejoicing in the modern world and forbidding it completely. Today only an innocent man can rejoice…

Faithlessness, the doubts of rationalism close the gates of joy. Disobedience makes us insensitive, careless to the divine urge to joy. That is why we don`t share it, because we didn`t listen to God`s order as the Holy Mother of God did. That is why we can`t be partakers of joy.

Tormented, with mean souls, rationalists, moved only by material interests, hypocrites, narrow minded, incapable of humbleness and slaves of selfishness we became incapable to listen God`s order, insensitive and petrified, without any faith in miracles, faith which would lead us to the bright universe of joy…

Despite this, the joy is sent into the world all the time. The invitation to joy remains eternal imperishable. It remains as an entrance ticket for the Kingdom of Heaven the Church gives us all together with its deep faith that joy can become a permanence of our existence. It is enough to listen that `rejoice` uttered by the Angel and to purify our souls with humbleness.

From the magazine `The Church of Pireus` via

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