Wednesday in the Second Week of Easter at Mississippi Abbey

In the wisdom literature of the Hebrew Bible we read that, “A cheerful heart is a good medicine.” What did the people of Israel have to be cheerful about? Moses replies: “What great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us? And what great nation is there that has such laws which I set before you this day?” (Deuteronomy 4:7-8). The people of Israel had Revelation, the Word of God, the Covenant and promise of a Messiah. That is their cause for joy.

But they did not yet know, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but have eternal life.” This is our cause for joy!

If the people of Israel had cause for cheerful hearts in all their afflictions, how much greater is our cause for joy! For this is eternal life, that though Jesus and in the Holy Spirit we have become “partakers of the one supreme Godhead” (Prayer over the Offerings, Wednesday, Second Week of Easter), “sharers in God’s own divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).