Sunday, December 14, 2014

Joy is More Than a "Feeling"

Rejoice! The Lord is near.

Today is the third Sunday of Advent, known as Guadete Sunday. The birth of Jesus is near at hand.

Light breaks through the long Advent of our lives too. We are on a mysterious journey, but we are sustained by the One who accompanies us, whose Father's house is our destination.

We can lose sight of joy if we confuse it with a mere feeling. Joy comes from a place more profound than our temperament or emotional makeup, or our psychological "personalities," so frail and subject to affliction.

The joy of the Holy Spirit is an affirmation of the heart (in the sense of "the whole person"). It is the affirmation that says, "God is good! God loves us!"

Joy affirms here and now that this present moment is a gift from God through which I am being shaped and drawn to the fulfillment of my destiny in Jesus Christ.

This is a moment when Jesus comes to be with me. All the more when it is dark and painful, full of suffering. Jesus is with me here, in these places of affliction. And I can affirm His presence even in the experience of sorrow. I can affirm that He is with me, that He is sharing my sorrows, that He is redeeming me through His presence herein.

Remember the love of God in Jesus, in all the places of our lives. Believe in Him. Trust in Him.