Earlier today I posted my homily for this 3rd Sunday in Advent. I noted that I like words, especially know their etymology, that is, their origin and development. I gave two examples (“peruse” and “egregious”) of words that have an original meaning, but human uses and circumstances change how we perceive and use the words. I went on to describe the word “joy” in that same context; how smush “joy,” “happiness,” and other synonyms into a generic sameness. But how Christians are to understand and live joy is different that “happiness.” How different? I will leave it to you to read the earlier post.
One of the things I wanted to be able to do – maybe not for the homily – but for my love of words, was to delve into the etymology of words. Because I have always thought that “Joy” should be added to the Christian triptych of “Faith, Hope and Love.” That is how fundamental “joy” is to the life we chose and how we live. Especially in these days of the pandemic when this next wave is so deadly, the economy is shaky, Christmas is uncertain – how are we to be joyful? My homily provided a partial answer to the question (…I hope!), but it pales in comparison to the fuller, broader perspective of all of Scripture.
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