THE WORD MADE FLESH

Day 21: Saturday of the Third Week of Advent

SG 2:8-14; LK 1:39-45

THE JOY WITHIN

“For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.” 

When was the last time you felt a real joy leaped in your heart or your gut or your mind? After Mary received the annunciation from Archangel Gabriel, she set out …and traveled to a hill country in haste…” Her greeting and presence made Elizabeth leaped for joy.

In a few days, we will celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus. We are invited to set our hearts a joyful place for Jesus to stay. We are also called to become a joyful presence to one another, like Mary to Elizabeth.

If I tried to put myself in “their situations” to imagine the visit in order to have an overwhelmingly joyful moment, I would consider the following realities of Mary and Elizabeth:

Mary’s genuine care for God and others. Her Yes to the Angel Gabriel was a mixture of sincere acceptance and fear (no doubt). It’s like you drink a glass of wine. It carries both sweetness and bitterness at the same time. When we assume a big mission or responsibility, we are afraid of how to accomplish it. Her sincerity and courage inspired and “leap” Elizabeth with joy.

Elizabeth’s generous reception. Her sisterly welcoming reached out to Mary as soon as she walked in. They both brought comfort, trust and joy to each other. Her acknowledgment of Mary’s blessedness, in a way, brings her also to the fulfillment of joy.

In order to have joy in life, we need to be open ourselves genuinely to the invitation of God (don’t fight back) and to the needs of other people. Selfishness never can contain real joy. Only generosity and gratefulness are the best friends of joyfulness.

Reflection question: How are you doing with your generosity and gratefulness?