Complete Joy

“We are writing this so our joy may be complete.” 1Jn 1:4

My youngest surprised me with her attendance at a family Christmas gathering last weekend. My joy was complete when she walked through the doorway and gave her grandma a bearhug. Grandma was flabbergasted. “Oh, my goodness! Oh, is it really you? Oh, how beautiful you are! Oh, what a surprise,” could be heard through the muffled kissing and hugging that continued between the pair who hadn’t seen each other in 2 years. I was able to get a great picture of the moment, too, complete with huge grins on their faces and their eyes brimming with tears of joy.

My thoughts go back to times in my life when my heart just overflows with complete joy. The last day of school. The time I got (snail) mail with an acceptance letter to the university of my choosing. The day I graduated from high school. The thrill of paying off my college loan. Going on a road trip in my own car. The sight of a sunrise or sunset or any natural phenomena that takes my breath away. The times that stand out the most are the births of each of my three children — holding those tiny, wonderfully made children, my own living gifts from God, leaving me speechless and overwhelmed with love and joy. 

Over two thousand years ago, a young wife and her husband experienced the complete joy of having a child, which they wrapped in swaddling clothes. They named him Jesus; Emmanuel, God is With Us. Jesus is the joy of Christmas and a love that is so freely outpoured to each of us throughout the entire world. 

In his Christmas homily, Pope Francis said that the love of God was revealed to us through Jesus. “In Jesus, the Most High made himself tiny, so that we might love him…in the beauty of God’s love, we also discover our own beauty, for we are beloved of God.”

On this third day of Christmas, remember that you are a beloved child of God. You are a precious gift, well-loved, and beautifully made. May the joy of Christmas continue to live on in you.

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Beth is part of the customer care team at Diocesan. She brings a unique depth of experience to the group due to her time spent in education, parish ministries, sales and the service industry over the last 25 yrs. She is a practicing spiritual director as well as a Secular Franciscan (OFS). Beth is quick to offer a laugh, a prayer or smile to all she comes in contact with. Reach her here