December 11th, 2011 Posted in writing

The clarion call for the third week of Advent is the simple command “Rejoice!”

Rejoicing is easy to do when things are going well, but not so easy if they aren’t, and in this life we encounter some things easy to bear but others almost impossible to carry. Yet even in these latter circumstances, the call is still “Rejoice!”

To raise the bar even more, the followers of Jesus are also expected to be touched by the joy and pain of others. The Second Vatican Council, in its document “The Church in the Modern World,” taught that “the joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of people, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ.”

Still, whether it’s a matter of one’s own or others’ joys, hopes, griefs and anxieties, Christian rejoicing takes root in the conviction that Christ has made his home with us and won’t ever leave our sides. And that’s clearly a reason to be joyful.

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