December 16

Reflection

 Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!
Phil.4:4

At this midpoint in Advent, we are reminded to rejoice. We are in the season when all our surroundings call us to joy. “Joy to the world the Lord is come” we hear playing in malls and stores. Yet, joy isn’t giddiness. Rejoicing in the Lord isn’t so much a matter of feelings as it is of actions. It is a response to what God has done in Jesus Christ. In order to be more joyful, we have to work at it.  Bad things will happen in the world, but it cannot derail us. Joy is our witness to hope. Jesus courageously preached this in his world. In the midst of the problems of our own times, we hold to the Advent hope that we might experience the grace of joy breaking through to inundate our world.

Prayer

God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid.
Isaiah 12:2

Action

 Work to limit your anxieties and reflect on the message of good news sent through Jesus. Who do I see as a model of inner joy?

Suggested Readings

 Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:4-7

We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.
Carlos Castaneda 

Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.
Henri Nouwen

I cannot believe that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis of suffering; surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy!
Louise Bogan

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.
Buddha

Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.
Joseph Campbell

I slept and dreamed that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.
Rabindranath Tagore

The joyful heart sees and reads the world with a sense of freedom and graciousness.
John O’Donohue

Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God.
Robert Schuller

True joy results when we become aware of our connectedness to everything.
Paul Pearsall

We need Joy as we need air.
We need Love as we need water.
We need each other as we need the earth we share.
Maya Angelou

Always remember, Joy is not incidental to spiritual quest.
It is vital.
Rebbe Nachman

Joy is the highest expression of Love. In it is found the principle connection to Life and to the divine essence that is the creator.
Galactic Federation

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