Joy and Commandment
In the Gospel of John, the frequent use of the words “joy” and “commandment” captures the reader’s attention. These two words are not typically used together. “Commandment” relates to duty, responsibility, law, and discipline, which on the surface seem to conflict with joy. However, by juxtaposing these two words, our Lord Jesus Christ reveals a deeply beautiful truth of the spiritual life.
Our joy becomes complete only in the love of God Himself because our souls are sourced from Him and yearn for Him without ceasing. The pledge of God’s love is His Holy Spirit, which comes and resides in the souls of those who keep God’s commandments; however, this is not dictated by coercion or fear but out of God’s love.
Thus, our Lord Jesus Christ promises us: “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:10-11). Let's embrace His commandments with joy and love, knowing that therein lies the foundation of our true happiness.