December 04, 2009

Advent in Song: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring

Christmas is a time of joy. We hear that on television and radio, and we read it online and on many of the greeting cards that change hands this month. What is joy?

A lyric penned in 1661 gives the answer: Jesus, the Joy of Man’s Desiring. Joy is where we're drawn by Him. It is that to which our souls are aspiring. Christ, our joy, is the "truth unknown" (or, perhaps better, not fully known) that we strive for, that we soar toward. Christ is that to which our hope is guiding.

Our destiny is achieved on "entering into the joy of the Lord" [1720]. There are pleasures in our earthly lives, but there is not true joy outside of our encounters and our relationship with Christ.

Advent is a time of preparation. Are you preparing to enter into the joy of the Lord? Today, read the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-29) and note what is required.
Father, we pray that all of us use this time of Advent well, that we prepare ourselves to encounter the Truth that You are and bring it fully into our hearts. And when our time is over, after our last Advent, may we all be with You fully, in the love of joys unknown. May we hear those beautiful words: 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.'

USCCB. "Advent and Christmas Seasons". Online. Accessed 2 Dec 2009 at

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