Advent is a time to open our hearts to receive God’s love more fully so that we can recognize the presence of Jesus among us, here and now. Recognizing and responding to that love leads us to joy, which is deeper than the emotion of happiness and more than striving for positivity. Joy is an upwelling of life that comes from participating in God’s life — it flows from a deep connection to God’s providence. We’ll spend this second week of Advent exploring the source and expression of joy.
St. John Paul II said that we are made for joy. That’s an amazing statement, if you think about it. It means that we are made for deep and lasting happiness — not the kind of happiness or bodily satisfaction that comes and goes. When we seek God’s will for our lives and find ways to rely on Him, we grow into the people we are created to be: joyful.
Look back at the past week. When did you feel the most joyful? When did you feel despair? What might you do today to connect to that which gives you joy?