by Sr. Dorothy Rolf, ND
Christmas Day liturgies give us much to reflect upon regarding God’s great love shown in human virtues. During Advent we reflected on many of these virtues, namely; patience, hope, peace, love and joy.
Patience gives insight into the experience of waiting without complaining or losing hope.
Hope gives strength to keep trusting God’s ways for us.
Peace gives a gentle spirit in accepting what is—in our daily life.
Love gives desire and the reason for living in patience, hope, and peace.
Joy reflects the beauty in our hearts that shines through our eyes.
On this Christmas Day, let us take time to reflect on JOY. (Luke 2:10-13) “”An angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds. “Don’t be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great JOY to all the people...for today in the city of David your Savior was born—Christ the Lord! They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger.”
Joy is such a beautiful gift. It reflects what is in our hearts, namely the awareness of God who speaks to our hearts. Working as a chaplain in the hospital, I am always touched to tears when I see Joy in the eyes of many patients. No matter the pain, the diagnosis, or the not knowing, in many there is a sign of JOY. In visiting about Joy they are able to articulate their awareness of God in their lives, speaking to their hearts of love and comfort and “to not be afraid.” Joy speaks of God’s presence within them.
In the hospital we often hear, throughout the day, lullaby music proclaiming the birth of a baby. What Joy in the eyes of all who hear it. Similar to the shepherds announcing good news of great Joy.
During this Christmas season: Take some time to be quiet, look at the manager and with Mary ponder on the gift of Joy. What does it say to you about the Joy in your heart? Pray about Joy. As you go about your daily life look for Joy it in the eyes of those around you. And share your Joy too.
Joy to the World, the Lord has come…and comes daily in surprising ways.