Bishop Barron's Advent Reflection Third Tuesday in Advent Ask forJoy
Your daily Advent reflection...
Third Tuesday in Advent
Ask for Joy
his letter to the Philippians, a people with whom Paul felt a special
closeness, he says, “Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again,
rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). Notice first of all that this is a command:
Do it. Rejoice. Joy comes when we actively do it. It is not a matter of
sitting around waiting for some emotional state to come over you.
what makes this possible? To rejoice, we must first put away
selfishness and learn to love. When we find ourselves joyless or
listless, often the best thing we can do is some concrete act of love.
do I mean by that? Look to the Gospel of Luke: “Let the man with two
coats give to him who has none. The man who has food should do the same”
(Luke 3:11). It’s pretty clear and pretty basic: Give your life away to those in need.
Paul says, “Dismiss all anxiety from your minds. The Lord himself is
near” (Philippians 4:5). One of the obstacles to joy is that we convince
ourselves we are finally in charge of our lives. It is up to us to know
everything, to control everything. And what does all of this frenzy
produce? Usually more anxiety and less joy.
why Paul tells his beloved Philippians that the key to joy is turning
your life over to God, trusting in him, having confidence that he will
is the way of all of the saints. Listen again to Paul: “Present your
needs to God in every form of prayer and in petitions full of gratitude”
(Philippians 4:6). God delights in caring for us, and he wants us to
ask for joy. Again and again in the New Testament we are urged to do
exactly this. As a sign of our dependence upon God and a token of
confidence, we are invited to ask and ask and ask.