I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
On the surface, being joyful sounds easy, especially in this Christmas and New Year’s season. With friends and loved ones hosting parties, commercials that tout the spirit of charity and giving, the anticipation of a New Year’s bash and so on, it’s easy to imagine being happy and joyful. But can we turn that into a deeper joy? Can we go deeper, and experience the kind of joy that comes from being immersed in the joyful company of people, loving them in the moment, sharing in God’s love for us...are we able to experience that?
St. Thomas Aquinas, (in his work the Summa Theologiae), determined that wealth, pleasure, power, and honor, though good, are not true sources joy. Thomas argues that the infinite good of God alone can satisfy the deepest longings of the human heart.
Gifts like brand new goods, a gathering of friends, a vacation, even the gift of yourself (like a chance to connect with someone on a deeper level) can make us very happy. All these things are good! But these gifts are simply arrows that points us to true happiness; they point to Christ. We unite with His love by loving people as He does, and sometimes that involves giving gifts and being present at parties.
Pray for that joy and the desire to spread it during this season of Christmas and this New Year, and ask for God’s assistance in making it happen.
Though Christmas day is past, we’re still in the Christmas season, liturgically-speaking. So we encourage you to continue visiting Christmas.fll.cc/en as a source of inspiration and spiritual nourishment. It can even be used to inform your New Year’s resolution!