My mother, a retired Catholic school teacher, once told me about a Christmas pageant gone wrong. For the big performance, her fourth grade students made homemade sashes with JOY in letters cut out of felt. But when the students put on their sashes and walked to the church to perform, it became horribly clear that the glue was subpar. Letters were dropping off right and left, with the result that many of her students sang to their parents in sashes proclaiming “JO” and “OY.”
In a very literal (and humorous) sense, their joy was not complete.
In real life, mine isn’t either. How often have I felt total, complete joy? Yes, there have been beautiful times, moments that I hold in my heart, but often I find myself throwing barriers in the way of joy. I tell myself I’ll be truly joyful when I get that new appliance, when I get that book project done, when I finish all my grading. I’ll be joyful when the pandemic is finally over or when the weather improves.
I think I’m going about it all wrong.
Today’s Gospel makes it sound easy: “Love one another as I love you” (John 9:12). Is that the answer? I do know that when I let myself be touched by a deep awareness of others, my mood is different. When I let myself soak in the beauty of the people in my life, looking at them as God must, truly mindful of how precious they are and how I don’t want to take their presence on earth for granted—that’s when I feel joy. It’s something deeper than happiness. It’s a moment where I feel wise, all of a sudden, as if I’m re-learning something I know and yet so easily forget.
Joy. The good news is that to keep it, we don’t need glue. We just need to remember something we already know deep inside, repeating Christ’s words again and again until they stick.
How can you be extra-mindful of the love in your life? How can you show love in return?J-O-Y with No Glue Required // Ginny Kubitz Moyer Click To Tweet
Lord of Joy, remind me of the joy You provide, the joy that abides.
Thank you for being here.
This daily reflection is free, but you can go deeper with the Blessed is She community by signing up for a BIS Membership. You’ll join a community platform just for Members, participate in monthly live workshops, receive auto-shipped journals, free shipping, 10% off always, and more.