Archive for December 26th, 2021

holy_family_610x300@2xSunday, December 26, 2021

Joy and the Holy Family


 The New Testament brings us the good news of personal freedom and the reality of our individual relationship with God. Joy continues to surprise us as we rejoice in the coming of the Messiah.

Jesus steps into the Gospel of Mark as a grown man seeking baptism from his cousin, John. In this way, Mark moves directly into the substance of Christ’s story. Jesus comes as one of us to heal, restore, liberate and transform.  Mark records Jesus’ telling of the parable of the sower who plants the Word on the trodden path, among the rocks, in the thorns, and on fertile ground. The joy of God’s word takes root only in rich soil. Let us spend some time today preparing ourselves for the reception of God’s joy.

Mark 4:13-20: Jesus says: Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy. But they have no root; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Those sown among thorns are another sort. They are the people who hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit. But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.

joyWe might believe that in order to bear fruit we must rid our lives of thorns and stones and hardness; and it is true that the elimination of these obstacles would certainly smooth the way for God’s word to take hold of us in a permanent and lasting way. But when we look closely at the last of Jesus’ words in this parable we might be surprised by God’s joy.

But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.

It is not so much that joy flourishes in the uprooting of all thorns and the clearing of all rubble; rather, we find infinite joy in God when we accept God’s Word . . . and agree to work in God’s vineyard. On this day when we celebrate the joy of the Holy Family, let us determine that we will live as sisters and brothers in Christ who hear, accept, and move forward with the Good News of Joy.

If this week’s Noontimes call you to search for more ways to encounter Joy or urges you to investigate the New Testament, click on the word Joy in the categories cloud in the blog’s right hand sidebar and choose a reflection, or enter those words in the blog search bar. You may want to visit the Joy for the Journey blog at www.joyforthee.blogspot.com

For more information about anxiety and joy, visit: http://riselikeair.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/anxiety-joy-a-journey/

Image from: http://saltandlighttv.org/blog/rosicareflections/the-future-of-humanity-passes-through-the-family 

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