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Luke 10: 21-24 | Advent Tuesday Week 1 | King James Audio Bible KJV

21 ¶ In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.
22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.
23 ¶ And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:
24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Jesus, as he journeys to Jerusalem, has dispatched seventy disciples to go on ahead to preach and heal. The seventy have returned with wonderful news, that Christ’s name is power over demons, and, we sense, that the Gospel is preached and received; the harvest is truly plentiful.

This is, then, a great evangelizing moment, even as people are still confused, many preferring to focus on the miracles only rather than on the life everlasting which is to be in heaven, and even while there is disbelief. Still, there is so much belief swelling in the land, so prompting Christ’s hymn of joy.

Jesus rejoices that, while the so-called wise and educated have failed to see the truth of his teaching, such that salvation remains hidden from them, the truth has been revealed to babes – The humble people understand and accept the word of God in ways the wise scholars cannot. We are reminded that we are to become like children to enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18: 3) This does not imply a regression to weakness, softness, and infantilism; rather a relinquishing of pride, conceit, worldly knowledge and standing, and claims to spiritual self-sufficiency. It is the recognition that we absolutely need God’s grace.

Jesus now announces himself as the Son of God, in such close relationship with the Father, consubstantial with the Father, and able also to reveal God the Father to us. Jesus rejoices in the custodial role that the Father has given him. This is the fulfilment of history the prophets longed for.

‘He who enriches others becomes poor. He took to himself the poverty of my flesh so that I might obtain the riches of his godhead. He who is full empties himself. He emptied himself of his godhead for a brief time so that I might share in his fullness… It was necessary that holiness be conferred on man through the humanity of God took to himself. In this way, conquering the tyrant by force, he freed us and led us back to himself through his Son, the mediator. The Son brought this about to the honour of the Father to whom, in all things, he is seen to defer.’ St Gregory Nazianzen

King James Audio Bible KJV | King James Version | Endnotes 

Luke 10:21-24, often referred to as the ‘Hymn of Joy’, is a powerful passage that highlights the importance of joy and gratitude in our lives as followers of Christ. Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI have both spoken about the significance of this passage and its impact on our spiritual journeys.

Pope Francis has emphasized the idea that true joy comes from within, and is not dependent on external circumstances. He states, ‘Joy is a gift from God, and it is the fruit of our relationship with Him. When we are connected to Jesus, we are filled with a deep sense of peace and contentment, even in the midst of trials and difficulties.’

Pope Benedict XVI also reflects on the importance of joy in our lives as Christians, saying, ‘Joy is not just an emotion or a feeling, but it is a state of being that is rooted in our relationship with God. It is a sign of our connection to the divine, and it is a powerful witness to the world.’

Jesus rejoices in the Holy Spirit and gives thanks to God for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom to the lowly, rather than the wise and powerful. This passage teaches us that true joy is found in humility and in recognizing the blessings that God has given us.

Pope Francis emphasizes this message, stating: ‘Joy is not something that we can manufacture or attain on our own. It is a gift from God, and it is only by embracing His love and surrendering ourselves to Him that we can experience true joy.’

Pope Benedict XVI similarly notes: ‘The Hymn of Joy in Luke 10:21-24 reminds us that our joy is rooted in our relationship with God and our recognition of His love for us. When we are focused on God, we are able to find joy in all circumstances, and we are able to share that joy with others.’