Our reflection today comes from Margeaux Manshel. Margeaux, from New Orleans, LA, is a psychology major with a minor in sociology. A member of TCU Catholic, she has always loved doing service work and using service opportunities as a way to spread unimaginable joy to others. You can spot her lighting a candle in the Carols by Candlelight video!
Reading: Romans 15:13
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
As 2020 comes to a close, we start to look back at the year and see how far we have come.
When we take a step back, we tend to first look at the negative aspects of the year that we have all just been through. Even though there were negatives, when you truly ponder about the past year, you begin to notice that the positives of 2020 outweigh the negatives. For instance, the Covid-19 pandemic began near the end of my senior year of high school, and I thought we were just getting two weeks off of school. I saw it as a blessing and hey, no more homework! But as time became blurry and the weeks grew long, I no longer saw it as a blessing.
However, I wanted to change my mindset and grow closer with my Mom and Dad, so that’s what I began to do. As Covid-19 may have taken away my senior year, it did not take away the joy I had with my family. In fact, by being home all the time, I got to hang out with my parents every night because all extracurriculars were cancelled. I could sit at home and watch movies, bake, and cook and really gain joy from my parents and the experiences we endured together.
Romans talks about joy and peace, and I noticed that the littlest things such as spending time with your family can continue that feeling of peace within. I feel that now that I am in college, and I have a bigger crowd to speak to, I would like to share a saying that the President of my high school back in New Orleans, Sister Camille Anne Campbell, shared with us every year during Advent.
She would always look at us and say, “Now girls, what does Joy stand for again?”
And in unison we would join with her and say, “Jesus, Others, and Yourself.”
Through that quote and the one provided above from Romans, joy can be brought in many ways. By looking back and seeing the growth that Jesus, others, and yourself have gone through this past year, I would give yourself a pat on the back and hug those closest to you because you did it and as Sister Camille Anne would say, “Jesus, others, and yourself should be proud. Now go and spread joy!”
Dear God, we pray that you help others find joy within this Advent season and to truly reflect on this past year and count our blessings.