This Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, we are celebrating joy!
St Lucy, whose feast day is today, will be more than happy to teach us a little something about this wonderful thing called joy, and which she had in abundance. How do we know Lucy had joy? We know it from one very simple fact: she remained immoveable through the Holy Spirit in her love for God, and this is the very source of joy.
History tells us Lucy gave her body, mind, and soul to Christ at a young age, despite the objections of her wealthy parents and men who wanted her to be their bride. Lucy chose Christ as her husband, and she meant it.
One jealous man, enraged by her wanting to remain a virgin, arranged to have her taken to a place where she would lose her virginity. Well, Our Lord was not about to see His bride violated. So what happened? The Holy Spirit made her immoveable, like a pillar. With the greatest effort, the strongest of men and even several yoke of oxen could not move her. She remained firm and could not be taken away. No violence whatsoever could be done to her virginity.
Lucy was immersed in the joy of God. She knew that there is really nothing to compare with the greatness of God. She knew that no human experience and no human love and no human ambition could fill her like God did. She allowed God to fill her to the brim, to take possession of her, body and soul, and God defended her.
Although she died as a martyr, she died as a virgin, still as a true and pure Bride of Christ.
So what then is this joy that can reign even in the midst of suffering and persecution? St. Paul tells us It is a gift of God to those who hold nothing dearer than Christ. Joy is amazing, because God gives us the ability to experience some type of physical or emotional suffering, and somehow, through supernatural grace, experience joy.
Joy gives pleasure of the inner heart rather than pleasure of the senses. That is why the saints, like St Lucy, clearly suffered in many ways, but had pure joy.
So what about you? Where in your life do you seek pleasure in your senses rather than surrendering your body, mind and spirit to Jesus?