Joy, every day

Psalms 98
“Shout for joy to the LORD, all you people of the earth. Break forth into singing and rejoicing, and shout for joy before the King, the LORD. Let the sea roar with all that is in it; let the world and them that dwell therein break forth into joy; let the rivers clap their hands; let all the mountains shout for joy before the LORD. For he is coming to judge the earth; he will judge the world with justice, and the peoples with righteousness.”

I think it is not biblically dangerous to say that joy is an essential ingredient for living a fulfilling life in Christ.

Indeed, the Kingdom of God is one-third joy (Romans 14:17), peace is one of its expressions (see Proverbs 15:13) and this joy is even our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Furthermore, the Scriptures tell us that Jesus was anointed with the oil of joy above his companions (Psalms 45:7-8).

We should not deny the harsh realities around us that oppose the reign of God. However, the joy of the Lord has the ability to not let these difficulties have a place of influence in our hearts.

The Christmas celebrations are, I hope for everyone, a warm season of sharing and joy. Of course, this is partly due to the excitement of the children in front of their gifts, the human joy of being with their loved ones again or the fact that we can take a few days off, feast and rest.

I would like to suggest to you, however, that this wonderful joy does not originate in a party but in the birth of Jesus Christ.

We often have a kind of post-holiday blues; going back to work on Monday, changing our pace of life and starting a new year can make us feel down. Yet, thanks to the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus, we have access to an inexpressible and inexhaustible joy! The joy of the Lord is the essence of our faith, it allows us to overcome any obstacle without being tainted by it. And this divine joy would not have been attainable without the nativity.

Let us choose to intentionally keep the joy of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives at all costs. May the joy of Christmas and the birth of Christ galvanize that joy and keep it flowing in our daily lives and around us. Hallelujah!

Prayer: Wonderful Holy Spirit, I recognize that I need you. Give me your divine joy. Fill me with your presence, anoint me with your oil of joy. I resolve to rejoice in all circumstances and to celebrate for the rest of my life your goodness so great, so powerful and so faithful. I love you Lord. You are my joy and happiness. Amen.

Special Advent prayer: Martin Luther King Jr

Eternal and merciful God,
You who are a God of peace, love and unity,
we pray to you, Father, and we beg you to gather
by your Holy Spirit all that is scattered,
to reunite and reconstitute all that has been divided.

Please grant us also to be converted to your unity,
to seek your one eternal truth,
and to abstain from all dissension.

In this way we will have only one heart, 
one will, one knowledge,
one mind, one reason,
And turned entirely to Jesus Christ our Lord,
we shall be able, Father, to praise you with one mouth
and give you thanks

through our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.  

Amen!

Quote: The joy of the Lord has the ability to not let difficulties have a place of influence in our hearts.

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