In the doldrums of late January, consider the thought of “joy” to lift one’s spirits. Sacred Scripture gives us countless references to joy, one of gifts of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps the most recent one that comes to mind,is from the Gospel of St. Luke read at Christmas. In informing the shepherds of Jesus’s birth, the angels say, “We him him him bring you tidings of great joy to be shared by all the people.” The angels go on to inform the shepherds of the birth of Jesus. How could the shepherds return to their sheep with somber faces? Both the Old and New Testaments record many, many times when the word joy is brought to our attention. Think of your own times when joy has lifted your spirits and of those around you. Repeat what is prayed on the third Sunday of Advent: “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).
By Philip Zimmer, OSB