"At the same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, 'I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.'"
St. Luke, Chapter Ten, Verses Twenty-One and Twenty-Two
"Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus who he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for Him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with Him. Mary took a pound of costly spikenard, anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one about to betray Him) said, 'Why was this oil not sold, for three hundred denarii, and the money not given to the poor?' He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it unto the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you and but you do not always have me."
—-St. John, Chapter Twelve, Verses One Through Eight
We ought to remember, Judas finally gave back all the money of his nihilism and hung himself with all this fanaticism. There was no joy in either side of the man.
Please remember, this book length series started as a way to describe what it will take to reconcile the culture wars of the 21st century. Please remember, the people you encounter in Western culture today are somewhere in agreement with one or the other of the two great Post-modern Western poles: nihilism on the one side and fanaticism on the other.
As sure as night follows day, the most confused, perplexed, and so angry person, will be that fellow who mixes the cultural metaphors. How can a nihilist really be fanatical about nothingness? At the end of his intellectual purge, when the fanatic finds his emotional blood pressure goes too easily from raging spikes to dull purposelessness, how can he not feel despair at the nothingness he creates for the sake of imposing his purpose on all?
Every Sabbath the Preacher faces the nihilist who condemns him for his myopia and the fanatic who wants to define what can be in his visual range. The Sabbath sermon may be the State of the Union or the Sunday homily. No matter. The target audience is not determined by the message. The transmitter may want to convey hope. No matter. The receiver is either Nothingness or Being. Hope needs a purer channel to be heard.
So, at some point along the way, there must be joy. Joy purifies the system. The nihilist and the fanatic stop in their tracks when joy sets up its road block.
So, now to come go joy?
Well, indeed, this is the primary question. There are some corollaries. For instance, did Man invent God to dull Man's pain? Can Man hope for anything more than velvet sleep when he closes his eye's the last time? Is simple human need enough reason for God's existence?
Well, no. There is genius. Genius is aberrational. Jesus is Genius, so He can speak as one with authority. His Genius is His Flesh.
There must be joy in the Genius of Flesh, or what is an Incarnate Savior to do? Would the Word need to become Flesh if not to savor the Flesh?
The joy of belief is in the mind, heart, soul and the body, or Jesus might not have bothered to mention all this in His commandment teaching(s). Man can study, play, satisfy himself he has reached the apex of his intellect and trust the rest to "Fate," or "God." To experience joy as more than a momentary sensation (a kind of muscle spasm of the soul) he will probably need to know his life's purpose.
If a man lives ignorant of his life's purpose, is he ever other than the plaything of circumstance? Doesn't Man seek immortality, completion and recognition? Does he not need a relationship with God, where God brings to Man the lesser beings, to see what Man will call them?
Is recognition not broad acceptance, the kind of total body experience that validates one's worth beyond the time the sun finally burns out for the las time? Is this not final completion, which is the most intimate kind of recognition, self-acceptance?
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.