“No one has ever heard of a sad saint or a saint with a funeral face. Unheard of! It would be a contradiction. A Christian is a person who has a heart full of peace because he knows how to find his joy in the Lord even when passing through difficult moments of life,” – Pope Francis 12/14/14
After a sleepless night worrying about family and friends, I spent the morning trying to find an image to represent Gaudete Sunday. The third Sunday in Advent marks a time of Joy, a rejoicing in the coming of Jesus. Inspiration had left me. I tried to use several images, force them to fit the day and its meaning, they were beautiful but they just weren’t right. I tried to have someone else take a photo for me. Again it just wasn’t right. I did have an idea in mind- the perfect beautiful shot involving antique lace, a simple pale rose votive, the correct lighting, focus, background. As I went on my morning run I planned my day. Ug! One more thing I would need to do on an already busy day. Now I had to go in search of that perfect candle. I had to take the time to get that perfect shot. But as luck would have it a beautiful tableau presented itself in a store window. I stopped and took a photo. This would do! Feeling somewhat better that at least that job was ticked off my list I continued on my run, a run I have done almost daily for the last five years in a place where I have lived most of my life. How had I never before noticed this? Written in the cement. JOY. I couldn’t believe it, stopped in my tracks, sat down on the path and took this photo. Some messages are loud and clear!
“You no longer need to look elsewhere! Jesus came to bring joy to all and forever. This is not only a joy to be hoped for or postponed for paradise, as if we were to be sad here on earth but in heaven we will be joyful. No! This is not it, but a real, present joy, because Jesus himself is our joy,” – Pope Frances 12/14/14
It was there all along. A simple part of my everyday life but I missed it. Again and again I ran past it, lost in thought, chatting with friends, planning my day, looking at the ocean, preoccupied, happy, sad. I wasn’t seeing it. But here it was, written in stone, Joy not to be washed away. A true blessing on this Gaudete Sunday and something to carry with us daily. Sometimes we need that reminder. He is always there for us, we just need to open our hearts and our minds and breathe.
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