Third Sunday of Advent Reflection: Joy

DSC07758For our third Advent reflection we turn to the Third Sunday of Advent which is traditionally called Gaudete Sunday, a term taken from the entrance antiphon of the Mass which reads:

   Gaudete in Domino semper —
   Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice
   Indeed the Lord is near.

Gaudete means “rejoice” and signals a shift from a penitential frame of mind to a more joyful tone since we are past the halfway point in the Advent season for “the Lord is near,” and it is time to rejoice. As a result, to represent this joyous tone, the rose colored Advent candle is lit.

As our Crusaders await the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, one student, Sophomore Jacob Styron, reflects on the ‘joy’ of Crusader friendship…

Styron_Jacob1008“My life is and has been full of joy and rejoicing. If it wasn’t for the major events that were about to happen, then I probably would not have found this true joy and happiness. This is my story.

During my life I have had some medical issues, the most recent being a tumor on my pancreas.  At first, my family did not know much about this diagnosis since it was rare for someone my age to have this condition. In a physical that I needed for Brother Martin High School, my doctor’s hand slipped while she was feeling my stomach and hit the spot of the tumor. Then they ran many tests. My world began to fall apart when I learned I had a pancreatic tumor. My doctors were confused that someone my age would have this. I came to realize that I might now live a shortened life-span and how life can knock you over so quickly. My doctors said that the only solution to this was surgery. As the time for my operation drew closer, I became very nervous because I was unsure of what to expect. I had a hard time enjoying myself as I became more stressed out. On the Monday night before the surgery, I heard several dings on my phone. It was my friends wishing me good luck. Finally, I went into surgery and by that Tuesday evening, I was in severe pain. On the Thursday after the surgery, one of my friends texted me and said that he and a couple of other guys were coming to see me which made me so happy.

When they came, they brought me so much joy.

A few weeks later I learned that I was cancer free which brought me and my family so much joy.  Another great joy was and is being back at school with my friends and eating lunch with them after a long month out of school! This Christmas will truly be a joyful Christmas!

Many think of joy as physical things or getting money or gifts which really is not true joy. My question to you, “What does joy mean to you?”

-Jacob Styron ’20