By Alyssa Bormes

Untitled by Lumpi via Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons


The other day in the office one colleague said of another that she had brilliant joy. “Fantastic! I’m stealing that. You’ll see it in an article soon!” was my reply. This began a day of contemplation on joy.

This past Sunday was Gaudete Sunday – or Joy Sunday. The rose colored candle was lit, perhaps your priest wore rose colored vestments. It is a reminder to us that we remain in a penitential season, but that the light is coming.

In Rome there is a magnificent celebration on Gaudete Sunday. It took me completely by surprise. I saw a million little children with their statues of Baby Jesus in their hands. They were on their way with their families to St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus with the Pope. After the Angelus, the children held the statues aloft toward the Holy Father as he blessed them. Talk about joy!

Then there is the joy of finding just the right gift for the person who is impossible to surprise, or the joy of baking cookies, or of having coffee with a friend, or decorating. There is even joy in sorrow. At the time of writing this, my sister-in-law sits with her father who is about to die. As you read this, his soul will have most likely gone on its final journey. But there will have been joy right in the midst of the sorrow.

And why this brilliant joy? Why the joy in the faces of the children with their Baby Jesus statues, why the joy right in the middle of sorrow?

Jesus – only Jesus.

He is the Brilliant Joy for which we paradoxically wait and already have. Today is a good day to love Jesus. Today is a good day for joy – for brilliant joy. Go on now and let your heart be filled with He who is Joy!

About the author:

Alyssa Bormes is an educator, author, speaker, and retreat leader. She currently teaches at the Chesterton Academy in Edina, Minnesota, writes for the Catholic Spirit, and the W.I.N.E blog, is the host of a weekly show,“Christian Witnesses in the Church,” on Radio Maria US, and is the author of The Catechism of Hockey. You can find her at