It's the third week of Advent and we just celebrated Gaudete Sunday. It's the week of joy, my friends! Christ is coming soon! Yet, when we look at the world around us, how can we speak of joy?
I'm so very happy that this week is the "week of joy"! We are getting over stomach bugs and colds in this house and what a joy it is to feel so much better! But joy is so much more than just feeling better or being happy. To me joy is a choice, one that we make numerous times a day. Do we choose to be joyful? When our children wake us up an hour early, do we choose joy? I'll admit it, this is a hard one for me. When it's rainy and cold and we have to run errands, do we choose joy? When it's time to work on reading, writing, or worse...science projects with our little ones, do we choose joy? When it's time to make dinner, and our toddler is hanging on our leg screaming (because apparently the only moment that we MUST pay attention to him seems to be the exact moment we must also cook), do we choose joy?
Part of being a joyful person is to accept where we are in life and that all situations, trials, celebrations, and the mundane moments of daily life can bring each and every one of us to sanctity. But we must CHOOSE joy!
Another aspect of being a joyful person is to SHARE our joy. Like oxygen to a fire, are people to joy. Joy must be shared among others for it to grow and burn strong. So now we need to ask ourselves, do we share our joy? When we get cut off by an oblivious driver, do we share our joy? When we are 10 minutes late to an appointment, do we share our joy? When the post office lost our mail, when the water company puts us on hold for 35 minutes, when our dishwasher breaks, do we share joy? When running in and out of the doctor's office, grocery story, library, do we make that choice to share our joy or do we bottle it up inside smothering it's flame?
I know what you are asking yourself. Why should we be joyful, Maria? The world is falling apart? And who can be joyful with all the annoyances of daily life? But I say, why SHOULDN'T we be joyful? The world is a passing phase. Life on this earth, has but one function, to help us achieve Heaven, to be with our Lord, God, the Holy Trinity, forever and ever. And we can use these moments of annoyance, these little sufferings. Even those moments, we can offer up to our Lord. So, really, who doesn't want to celebrate? I mean, we are Catholic, people. We are a religion of festivities and fun. We have two full seasons of celebration, the Christmas and Easter seasons. We have so many feast days and saint remembrances, that we are partying almost every day throughout the year!
We are a religion of party goers because we know the GOOD news. Christ is coming! So let's choose joy. As my one year old just woke up from a 20 minute nap and is currently screaming for me to come get him, I'm going to have to sign off here, but in the meantime, I'm going to choose joy.
May your days be filled with moments of pure joy!
Blessings to you and yours,