Happiness is an emotion that can disappear as quickly as it arises. Joy on the other hand is different because it is a choice we make. God gives us that choice. We can choose to live in an attitude of resentment, anger and fear or we can choose to pursue the joy of Christ. Which way will you choose? And what choices are we actually making?
- Joy means trusting when you want to doubt.
In other words we need to share Mary’s response to the coming of Jesus, “I am the Lord’s slave,” said Mary “May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). This is an incredible response from a young girl who has just been told by an Angel that she will have a son when she hasn’t even married Joseph yet! Mary made the choice to trust in God.
- Joy means receiving what you want to reject.
Can you imagine how the innkeeper would have felt if he said to Mary and Joseph, “Of course you can’t stay in that stable! That’s for paying customers. Who do you take me for?” I doubt he would have known deep joy. In reality we find joy in making room for people in need.
- Joy means celebrating when you want to fear.
What is the first thing angels say when they appear to mortals? In just about every divine encounter the angels say: “Fear not.” We can imagine Jesus instructing His most trusted angels. “OK, let’s go over this again … Most of the people that I’ll tell you to speak to will be scared out of their wits! So let’s practice the greeting one more time.” Then the angels would all say in unison, “Fear not.”
Our Mary and Joseph have moved on to another home, this time in Lee Crescent. Let us pray that they bring joy to the family who have chosen to receive them.