“All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God.

Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; break into song; sing praise”

– Psalm 98:3-4

When was the last time you spontaneously broke out into song or joined a group of people shouting with joy? Did your favorite team come from behind to win at the buzzer? Were you told that your company was giving an extra vacation day during the holidays? The birth of a child? I am guessing that it does not happen too often and would have to be something extraordinary to make you or I react in such a way. Why is this? I believe that we are very wary of making ourselves open to experiencing true joy such that we seem to almost lose control. Our mode of being often reflects the safety of plain old inertia where life is just fine or worse, okay. Even if we do not consider ourselves cynical people, we seldom express ourselves so demonstrably, either because we fear ridicule from others or dread the disappointment that may come after the moment is over.

Our disappointments occur daily, but they are hard to accept because of the hurt it causes. This is especially true when our day-to-day journey of life seems uphill. The real question is, can we own the reality of our pain and the emotions that come with it, which can then leave space for us to be open to what is truly extraordinary? This is the only way we can experience the joy of the presence of God that is right in front of us to encounter. The Immaculate Conception of Mary, which we honor today, shows God’s intimate connection with humanity, and love as action. That is what it is about: agape or love as action or decision. We may not understand these actions, but we certainly adore them, because this divine love is nothing short of a miracle, and that is something worth celebrating.

God, help me find my voice, my true voice, and the courage and joy to sing of the miracle that is You in our midst. Amen.

Robert Peace

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