“The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”
This Sunday we will be lighting the candle of “Joy” and entering the final week before Christmas. The colour of the candle we light is pink because the colour rose is the liturgical colour for joy or rejoicing. It is meant to remind us of the joy experienced when Jesus was born and the joy we continue to experience today.
Spiritual Joy is transformational. It is not the same as being happy. Happiness comes and goes based on our circumstances. However, spiritual Joy is based on our relationship with Jesus. This kind of joy is based on “the experience of knowing God’s unconditional love and that no matter the heartache, no one can take this joy away”.
Spiritual Joy is about celebrating the goodness and greatness of God. St Augustine is quoted as saying, “The Christian should be an alleluia from head to foot”. This is the kind of Joy that runs underneath all our Christmas celebrations. It remains in our happiness and in those times of disappointment, family quarrels or a tasty Christmas feast.
So, how do we cultivate spiritual Joy? There are a lot of good resources on the Faith Formation Ministries Faith Project website under Celebrating. Here are a few ideas:
How will you join with the Shepherds who left the stable rejoicing at the birth of Jesus Christ?
‘Joy to the world the Lord has come, let earth receive her king”