The Joy of Christmas

Finding joy in all things is the way we Catholics are raised. It is a way of life for us to find light in the darkness, humor in the challenging, determination and fortitude in the face of despair and isolation. Our model for this joyful way of life is engrained in our DNA and comes from the Holy Family, made most especially tangible in the Christmas narrative from the moment of the Annunciation through the Flight to Egypt.

The birth of Jesus, entering our world as a helpless infant, models forever for us the need for love and care—not only to be extended to our fellow human beings, but to be able to receive the gift of Love graciously. When we are vulnerable, we open ourselves to Joy. By allowing others to minister to us, we appreciate the gift of God in and through them, and we see His love for us in a direct way.

Joy comes through relationships. When our dear Blessed Mother turned to Saint Joseph, he responded in love. When the Holy Family needed shelter, they reached out and someone helped. When they fled to Egypt, you can be certain that others assisted them on their journey. There are many unknown and hidden Saints from those days, known only to this young, struggling family who most certainly accepted God's love through them.

And so, we, on our earthy pilgrimage, might now find ourselves being refugees from one place or thing or another. We might be isolated because of our needs for survival and respect for others. We might be without work, shelter or good health. We might be poor and lonely and feel forgotten. We know one thing, however. Joy brings us together in a million little ways. May we all be united to each other this Christmas in total Joy—despite the challenges!

A Merry and Joyous Christmas to you and all those you love.

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