By Dave Coe

Master Facilitator

It was a sunny, early Saturday morning when the retreat master entered the room.

After greeting the retreatants, myself included, he asked this question: “Are you happy?“ There was a collective, yet restrained, “Yes we are.”

He asked the question again. This time our answer was a little louder: “Yes! We are.”

His tongue-in-cheek response was: “Then please notify your face.”

After our Blessed Mother Mary was told that she was pregnant with Jesus by the Holy Spirit, the Gospel tells us that ”as quickly as she could she visited her cousin Elizabeth,” who was pregnant with her child, John the Baptist.

What happened next was amazing. Scripture records that the baby in Elizabeth’s womb “leapt in her womb” at Mary’s greeting and that Elizabeth was “filled with the Holy Spirit.” 

You can almost see and hear Mary, Elizabeth and John the Baptist thankfully rejoicing and smiling together. (See Luke 1:39-42)

“Yes, God So Loved the world,” (that’s US!) that “He gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3:16).

In Galatians 5:22-23 we read that the Fruits of the Holy Spirit are “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Trustfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.”

One hopes that kind of Love should make those of us who believe smile and also leap with joy!

My 2021 prayer for you is that His Joy be within you and yours -- just like it was in Mary, Elizabeth, and John the Baptist.

Here’s a little New Year’s gift, in the form of a 6:24 musical meditation to get you started on the right path to God’s own gift of joy. Enjoy!

(Scripture references are from The Jerusalem Bible.)

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