When we were engaged we did a bit of travelling. I have a memory of us in Assisi watching the sun set discussing the readings for our wedding. One of the themes we wanted to come through was joy. In the time we were getting to know each other we had experienced such great joy. During this time, I was quite sick and life often felt hard but Phil came into my life full of fun. I had longed to meet someone great and had often prayed for my future husband. Many times, as I waited I reflected upon the scripture ‘Let the joy of the Lord be your strength.’ The joy of knowing I was loved by God totally for who I was, kept me peaceful and happy while I waited.
As each one of our children has grown from a baby to a toddler, and we discover more about their personality, I have been totally blown away by the joy they are to us. Joy is different to happiness. Happiness is getting what you want at Christmas. But the joy is knowing that you are loved, that someone chose the perfect gift for you. The joy lives on when the present ends up on the shelf.
Life can get busy, tough and overwhelming. For me when life gets like this I go back to the joy. I go back to my wedding day when we committed to loving each other, I go back to the birth of my babies or to times when we have danced together around the kitchen.
This Christmas let’s discover the joy. Baby Jesus was born for each of us so that we would know that we are loved. Knowing this love brings joy.
Parish Pastoral Worker