Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion!
As I write this article on the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I have this strong conviction and belief that today’s readings are so much in line with the spirituality of Koinonia John the Baptist. The texts contain lots of exclamations of joy, exultant praise, and even jubilant leaping!
Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion! Sing joyfully, O Israel! Be glad and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! (Zep 3:14–15) Also from Isaiah, as the Responsorial Psalm, we acclaim: Shout with exultation, O city of Zion for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel. And then, from Lk 1:40–41: When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, ‘Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.’ And our Blessed Mother in holiness responded: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.” (Lk 1:46). Do all these vocal, uninhibited acts and actions of praise and worship in these verses not remind you of an authentic Koinonia Day? As our Founder Fr. Ricardo Argañaraz used to say, “We are a noisy community!” We simply and freely make ‘noise’. We do not however make noise for the sake of making noise! No, we make a joyful noise unto the Lord. We express ourselves this way, simply because we believe.
We believe in the greatest work of God, which is Jesus Christ and His gift of Salvation. When we truly recognise, accept and experience Jesus Christ in our lives, the gift of this great treasure has to arouse a worshipful song of praise; a shout of jubilation and an ecstatic leap of joy. We are powerless to do anything else, except what John as an unborn infant did: – “the infant in my womb leaped for joy”. (Lk 1:43)
Jesus Christ and His gift of Salvation, is the reason for the boundless joy, acclamation of praise and euphoric leaping, beautifully expressed by Zephaniah, Isaiah, Elizabeth and Mary. He is the reason for our joy and praise! This praise is not dependant on feeling but on faith. Therefore, our singing and rejoicing in Christ every day is a spontaneous gesture. In spite of and despite all the difficult things that are happening around us and within us, we decide to believe and to proclaim the Good News of the One who has overcome the evil of this world: “…for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.” (1 Jn 5:4)
Therefore, as you welcome the dawn of a new day, with uplifted hands and melodious songs of praise unto the Lord, you offer a sacrifice of love that is pleasing and delights the Lord. You do this because you believe that it is truly right and just; it is our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give Him praise!
IF YOU WANT TO GO FAST, GO ALONE.
IF YOU WANT TO GO FAR, GO TOGETHER.