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Be Full of Joy

December 21, 2013

Reflection

 

In the readings we are called to sing songs of joy and praise to God.  We rejoice because God is with us.  Zephiniah 3: verse 17 says, "The Lord your God is with you; his power gives you victory.  The Lord will take delight in you, and in his love he will give you new life."  The gospel of Luke recounts the Visitation where Mary greets her cousin Elizabeth.  Elizabeth is so overcome with joy that the "baby moved within her."  The grace of God and the Holy Spirit prompts Elizabeth to say to Mary, "You are the most blessed of all women, and blessed is the child you will bear."  God invites us to be like Elizabeth - to be full of joy and receive the Holy Spirit.  Are we prepared to receive God's grace?  

 

Thought Questions

 

1) In what ways can you prepare to receive God's grace?   

2) Can we recognize the Holy Spirit in our lives?

3) Name the people, places and things in your life that connect you with God.  How does God manifest Himself in your life?  

 

Prayers

 

Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women and blessed is your son Jesus.  Lord, please help me to recognize your presence everyday and allow your grace to direct my words and deeds. Amen.

 

By Michele and Patrick Friend

 

 

 

Readings

 

ZEP 3:14-18A

 

Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
Sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
The LORD has removed the judgment against you,
he has turned away your enemies;
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,
you have no further misfortune to fear.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love,
He will sing joyfully because of you,
as one sings at festivals.

 

Responsorial Psalm PS 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21

 

R. (1a; 3a) Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.


Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
Sing to him a new song;
pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness.

But the plan of the LORD stands forever; 
the design of his heart, through all generations.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.

Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield,
For in him our hearts rejoice;
in his holy name we trust. 
 

Gospel LK 1:39-45

 

Mary set out in those days
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth. 
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy. 
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

Comments

Fr. Bill  |  LA  |  December 22, 2013  |  3:19 PM

Patrick & Michelle,

Today is Sunday, and I'm just now getting to yesterday's reflection! Thank you for your gentle reflection on the connection between joy and God's Presence. When God is present we DO feel joy....but God is ALWAYS present...so, maybe when we are not feeling particularly joyful, we need to think on "how" God is present, and what we are being pointed toward. The last few days have been a struggle with back pain, and on top of it I had a dream about having lost my Bible in my house--it was there, but I couldn't locate it. I think I needed your reflection to help me get back on track. When I feel "disconnected from myself and my Self, when I'm distracted from God's holiness (which happens when i'm in pain), I need to look at where I'm being pointed--to REST! Life is very busy in this season, but we also need REST to be the people we need to be, and I needed to realize that. So thank you. I may even find my "joy" again!


Irene  |  Redondo Beach  |  December 21, 2013  |  9:42 PM

Michelle & Patrick,

Thank  you for the reminder to be joyful these last few hectic days before Christmas. May the Holy Spirit give us peace and patience and help us to stay focused on the real reason for this beautiful season...Jesus. 

Irene


Irene  |  Redondo Beach  |  December 21, 2013  |  9:37 PM

Michelle & Patrick,

Thank you for the reminder to be joyful these last few hectic days before Christmas. 

Merry Christmas!

Irene

 

 


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