On Gaudete Sunday of Advent we are called to ‘Rejoice!’ as we continue waiting for Christmas. All during the holidays we sing carols about joy, we look for joy, we try to be joyful. Sometimes we confuse joy with merrymaking and all-smiles happiness.
But, joy is so much more.
“Joy is the noblest human act.” St. Thomas Aquinas
Joy is not bubble-head happiness that depends on what happens. Joy comes from within the heart, sometimes deep within when the horribles squash and pummel our hope muscles to near-oblivion.
Joy chooses to have faith in God’s love, mercy, and grace to carry us through tough times. Joy sustains our hurting hearts (however deep our hurts may be.)
Joy does not mean pain-free living, but does not let pain drive us to darkness. Joy chooses to follow the Light, even when it’s hard at times to see the dimmest flicker.
Joy finds value in the rubble of decimated lives, because those lives are valuable. Joy comes from a well of Love transported on wings of compassion that lift up the brokenhearted.
Joy finds and grows roses in the rubble of our lives (and rubble that surrounds us), watering them with extra helpings of faith, hope and love.
At the end (and beginning) of the day, joy is a choice.
“Joy is not simply a matter of temperament. It is hard to be joyful – all the more reason why we should make it grow in our hearts. Joy is prayer; joy is strength; joy is love; joy is a net of love by which we catch others.” Mother Teresa (Saint Teresa of Calcutta)
Joy comes in all shapes and sizes, and Joy is what this season of Advent is all about.
Light coming into darkness. Love incarnated. Emmanuel, God-with-us.
Joy is possible, because Jesus Christ is.
Virginia : )
“Is my joy based on circumstances, or is my joy based on something within that no one can take from me or give to me?” Richard Rohr, OFM