Shout to the Lord, all you lands. (Psalm 98:4)
May is a month filled with shouts of joy. Joy for Mother’s on Mother’s Day. Many are joyful for their sons and daughters who are graduating. The graduates are joyful for having completed their course of study. Many graduates are joyful as they move on to their chosen field of endeavor and others as they continue their education.
Joy brings smiles, tears and shouts. Joy is demonstrated when we persevere and overcome tough obstacles. Joy is often accompanied with shouts, and songs, music and dancing. We see this most clearly as we celebrate at weddings.
Our Psalm today is a hymn of celebration. It shows the earth celebrating the Lord’s wonderful deeds and God’s great mercy. The Psalmist even points to the earth itself celebrating by rivers clapping their hands, hills ringing out with joy, and the sea roaring.
The joy of all the lands and the people in it is brought about by God’s constant love and faithfulness to us and the whole creation. The springing up of trees, plants and all growing things brings joy to our hearts. It is the very presence of God that brings joy to our lives.
St. Teresa of Avila put it this way, “Joy is not the absence of suffering, but the presence of God.” So, even in the midst of struggle and hardship we have joy (may be not happiness), but joy in God’s ever present love and faithfulness.