God is the Joy of My Soul

12-13-2020Weekly Reflection©LPi

Did you ever stop and realize that there is no earthly gain that can ever really satisfy us? Think of winning the Lotto. On this side of the winning ticket, it’s all about the money, the new car, house, vacations, bank accounts, and infinite pleasures. The possibility of acquiring all of these earthly securities brings us back again and again to the purchase of a ticket. Then, one day we win! Our dreams are fulfilled, and happiness is on the horizon. Then one day, we wake up and realize that nothing has really changed, and I am not as satisfied as I thought I was or would be. I find myself living in my incompleteness and with my profound sorrow and grief. I did not find joy.

Glimpses of joy are possible but not by material means. They are brought to us through incredible experiences of connection that bring us face to face with real and authentic faith, hope, and love. And, they are glimpses and do not last. The moment we find ourselves looking back at them, they are gone, and we find ourselves remembering the moment in memory. To carry joy within us is to realize that it is not something I create, manufacture or even acquire. It is not able to be purchased. It is a gift. My need for joy mirrors my need for eternity, for a Creator who has a claim on the very essence of who I am and desires a home within me. As C. S. Lewis discovered, joy is a surprise that speaks to my very soul and is given as gift by the God who loves me.

The beauty of Advent is found in discovering the beauty of the gift of joy. God has visited his people for no other reason than to show them where and how to find joy! All of our human and earthly joy experiences are always only glimpses. They never satisfy us, sustain us or fulfill us. It is only God who is the joy of my soul. Real, Divine experiences of joy catch us off guard, make us stop and become aware, bring a feeling of awe and rightness and have an eternal Otherness about them. Nothing created by humans can ever come close to this. We probably will not fully realize the truth of all of this until we actually meet God face to face in heaven one day. Then, in that sacred moment when our hearts leap for joy we will understand what we have been tirelessly searching for all along. Intense gratitude will most surely follow.

¡Estén Alegres en el Señor!

La atmósfera de la Liturgia de hoy es de júbilo y de alegría, porque la luz del Nacimiento de Cristo se acerca. Juan Bautista invita con intensidad a que descubramos la identidad de Jesús. Él indica el camino, y aún más les dice a sus oyentes: “Yo no soy digno de soltarle la correa de su sandalia”. (Juan 1:27) Con esta expresión indica la grandeza del que viene. Su dignidad es grande, es de Rey. Juan es el profeta que tiene la alegría de dar esperanza a aquel pueblo que vivía en tinieblas. San Pablo también habla a los Tesalonicenses de la importancia de la fe a la luz de la alegría. “Estén siempre alegres, oren sin cesar y den gracias a Dios en toda ocasión; esta es, por voluntad de Dios, su vocación de cristianos. Y añade: No apaguen el Espíritu, no desprecien lo que dicen los profetas. Examínenlo todo y quédense con lo bueno. Eviten toda clase de mal, dondequiera lo encuentren”. (Tesalonicenses 5:16-22)

El Adviento es descubrir que Dios está en medio de nosotros. Y la alegría es el punto clave y esencial de nuestra vida de fe. Esa alegría se muestra en la convivencia familiar, en la ayuda al más vulnerable de la familia, en apoyar al inmigrante que sufre toda clase de desprecios. En fin, la generosidad no debe tener límites. Al Señor se le reconoce en el hermano/a con pensamientos y acciones efectivas. El Señor vendrá en unos días, sí, pero, su presencia en la Eucaristía está presente ya entre nosotros. ¿Lo reconoces ahí? ¡Ven Señor no tardes tanto en llegar!

BACK TO LIST