Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ, reminds us:
“The quality of our joy depends on the spring from which it is drawn.
Where do we seek our joy? How does it come and go?
Watch its flights as of birds. … Does it soar or does it flutter? Is it steadfast or changeable?
Does it go by days, by moods, by self-love, by the adventure of circumstances? …
To be a joy-bearer and a joy-giver says everything.
It means that one is faithfully living for God and that nothing else counts,
and if we give joy to others, we are doing God’s work.
With joy without and within, all is well. I can conceive no higher way.
Joy is the most heavenly atmosphere found on earth.
We ought to cultivate it as a duty always.”
And in today’s gospel (Luke 3:10-18), John the Baptist reminds us that the simplest and most direct way to live this joy is to actively engage in relationships that bring “just peace” with kindness, compassion and sometimes even conflict in order to share not only what we have but also what is so desperately needed.
We (Religious of the Sacred Heart) have just completed our Special Chapter and isn’t that the call to all of us in our Sacred Heart family? We are asked to look and see how we can live together in new ways, expanding our relationships into new cultures by pushing our boundaries. We are asked to bring our gifts, vulnerability and desire to live in this blessed and broken world together.
We know that our God “rejoices over us with gladness and renews us in his love.” May we keep growing in living that way with each other.
Reflection: Marina Hernandez, RSCJ
Image: Photo by Kolby Milton on Unsplash