Sunday, December 17
Is 61:1-2, 10-11; Lk 1:46-54;
1 Thes 5:16-24; Jn 1: 6-8. 19-28
Always be joyful; pray constantly; and for all things give thanks; this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thes 5:16-17
In his book The Joy Compass, Atlaman, a psychologist writes, “Being in state of joy is a learned skill, not an innate ability.” A learned skill—really—when things are going badly, people are suffering, I am depressed–really? Atlaman goes on to say, “My hope is that you will find the joy that has always been waiting for you… and embracing gratitude as a means of finding joy.” The Advent message in Thessalonians is astounding. Prayer and gratitude are evoked as the pathways to joy as we await the coming of Christ Jesus who is waiting for us! A joyful life begins with a deep appreciation of God’s love expressed visibly in the incarnation. Dorothy Day calls us to the duty of delight; Pope Francis, to embrace the joy of the Gospel; and our founders, to take gentleness, peace, and joy as our orientation as we move toward profound love of God and the dear neighbor.
O God, may we, your people, who look forward to the birthday of Christ, experience the joy of salvation and celebrate this feast with love and thanksgiving.
My soul rejoices in God my Savior. How this Advent do I rejoice, embracing gratitude as a means of finding joy?
Sister Lucy Silvio
Baton Rouge, LA