Advent Reflection – Joyful Peace
By Kim Roberts
“Have you ever been surrounded by a whirlwind of activity, maybe in the midst of family and friends, and felt a sudden wave of deep contentment?” This is what Pope Francis refers to as “joyful peace.”
It feels like a light bulb moment. You could be in a crowd or in the middle of doing something and have a moment of clarity, and peace just washes over you.
With the beginning of Advent, I am reminded of this particular reflection that I read several years ago and has stayed with me over the years. I bring the reflection to mind each year after Thanksgiving to remind myself to find the joyful peace during Advent with my family.
I want to be mindful of everything that transpired throughout the year that has brought us to the beginning of the Christmas season and actively prepare for the birth of Jesus. I will admit, some years it is easier than others to find the joy each day, but because of the faith that my family shares, there is always hope. Advent is the perfect time to be aware of those joyful peace moments.
Many people think peace comes from perfect stillness or meditation, but many times we can find it in our everyday activities and daily life without having to search for it.
Upon reflecting on Jesus’ life in the Gospels, we realize he was usually in motion – walking, teaching, preaching, fellowshipping. If you think about it, when he went to pray in the desert, he wasn’t by himself, his father was in active communion with him.
During Advent, I remind myself that I don’t have to seek out quiet, private places to find joyful peace. I just need to be present in the moment and allow myself to experience contentment and thankfulness for the life that I have created with my family and remember that I am not alone. God is always in communion with me, guiding me on the path of joy and peace.