Lay Network Update - December 2020
JOY TO THE WORLD
The Catholic Coalition for Church Reform closes every Lay Network Update with "Still living in joyful hope". This kind of joyful hope is not just about circumstances. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, more pervasive than any happening or happiness. Furthermore, having joy in adversity is a sign that the Holy Spirit is near and it assures us that we will be okay, no matter what.
The adversity we faced in 2020 has been monumental. We were whirled and twirled in a tailspin with the Covid 19 pandemic. Lack of national leadership left us confused and at odds with friends and family who viewed the virus as just a cold or the sniffles, while we watched people in hospitals gasping for breath and the death toll rising. Masks or no masks divided us. If that wasn't enough, the economy tumbled with loss of jobs, isolation left many lonely and depressed and some of us are dreading seeing the empty chairs at the dining room table this Christmas.
Fierce conflict in our election has left many of us exhausted and our once subdued angst has poignantly surfaced. If ever there was a time for lamentation, it is now. It will serve us well if we do not skip this step or hurry the grief process. Healing can come when lament is expressed and when we take the time to savor the WHINE. A spiritual director or trusted companion can help us work through the hurt so we can receive the grace and peace that passes all understanding.
As baptized children of God, our hope is eternal, and that in itself is joy. During this holy season, let Christmas carols help you express this joy. Looking at the lyrics of "Joy to the World", we see that all creation rejoices. We are trained to think in anthropocentric terms but this carol includes more than just human beings.
"While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains - repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy. Repeat, repeat the sounding joy."
Look out your window or step outside and allow nature to sing to you.
We are assured of God's love and faithfulness with the birth of our Lord Jesus who was sent to accompany us on this journey called life. Joy is a sign of the Holy Spirit's presence and is linked to giving, so let us extend ourselves, lift up our voices and fill the earth with a Joyful noise to the Lord.
Wishing all our CCCR supporters - A very Joyful Christmas.
Nancy Gotto - Chair
Still living in joyful hope,