This coming Sunday is called Gaudete Sunday which translated means "Rejoice Sunday."
|Mary Greets Elizabeth in the Film "Nativity"|
Advent (the Coming of the Lord) should bring us joy. Today, on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 12), the Gospel Reading proclaims the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth and how John the Baptist leaped in his mother’s womb with joy when Mary greeted Elizabeth. Elizabeth blesses Mary and Mary in turn praises God, saying, ""My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior." (Luke 1:46-47)
|Pope Francis releases a dove given to him|
Pope Francis is a wonderful model of joy in Christ and in his first homily preached: "And this is the first word that I want to tell you: 'Joy!' Do not be men and women of sadness: a Christian can never be sad! Never give way to discouragement!
"Ours is not a joy that comes from having many possessions, but it comes from having encountered a Person, Jesus, who is among us. It comes from knowing that with him we are never alone, even at difficult moments, even when our life’s journey comes up against problems and obstacles that seem insurmountable, and there are so many of them! This is the moment when the enemy comes, when the devil, often times dressed as an angel, comes and insidiously tells us his word. Don't listen to him!
"Follow Jesus! We accompany, we follow Jesus, but above all we know that he accompanies us and carries us on his shoulders. This is our joy; this is the hope that we must bring to this world of ours."
(Excerpt from Pope Francis’ first homily, Palm Sunday, March 24, 2013)
I want to pray for more joy. I pray for you to have joy also. "Rejoice. For the Lord is near!" (See Philippians 4:4-7 HERE) From my Celtic roots comes a prayer litany that includes joy:
God to enfold me,
God to surround me,
God in my speaking,
God in my thinking.
God in my sleeping,
God in my waking,
God in my watching,
God in my hoping.
God in my life,
God in my lips,
God in my soul,
God in my heart.
God in my rising
God in my longing,
God in my hoping,
God in my joys.