FAMILY CHRISTMAS JOY …
Joy is an attribute of God’s divine love. To reflect God in our family life, we are called to be joyful by developing our relationship with Christ.
It is often remarked that faith is caught more than taught in the family. One of the best ways faith is caught is through joy. Joy is not an emotion that can be faked or forced. There is something authentic about it that points to a deeper reality. Joy should be part of the regular fabric of Christian life. The Lord Jesus promises His disciples that “no one will take your joy from you” ( Jn 16:22), and we are instructed by St. Paul to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil 4:4). but how is it possible to be joyful when there is sorrow in our lives? The answer is that joy in its deepest sense is not dependent on positive circumstances or upbeat feelings. Joy means having an encounter with God’s infinite love for us, which is always present in our lives. It “adapts and changes, but always endures,” even amid great sorrow. It takes the form of a quiet assurance, a reminder that we are God’s beloved sons and daughters. At other times, joy means that one “rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor 13:6), praising aloud the Lord and thanking Him for his gifts. But above all, joy comes from “an expansion of the heart” through prayer and gestures of love toward others, creating a bright, warm and cheerful atmosphere.
May Christmas Joy permeate the lives of our families in the Eparchy of St. Josaphat during this Christmas Season and remain with you always.