Radiant Joy: Life Teen’s 2012 Theme (Excerpts from LifeTeen.com)
True joy only comes from God and realizing our deepest dependence on Him (CCC 301).
What is Joy?
We live in a time when society confuses joy with happiness, but Scripture does not. Happiness is human; joy is divine. Happiness is fleeting, but true joy is eternal. Without God – who is Love – joy is not possible, but if Love is the root, joy is the fruit (CCC 1829).
Joy is the fuel that carries us through the day; lose the joy and you stall. As the great Catholic writer, G. K. Chesterton said, “Joy is the gigantic secret of the Christian,” but it’s a secret that must be shared; that must radiate from our entire being.
It’s with this in mind that Life Teen International prayerfully discerned the 2012 Theme to be "Radiant Joy". We must not only be people of joy, but so joyful that the Spirit’s holy presence radiates forth from us in every direction, to all with whom we come into contact.
Our first Pope, St. Peter, warned us to “be prepared” when people come seeking the source of our hope (1 Pet 3:15). Put simply, when people see how joyful and peaceful we are, we’d better be able to tell them not only the “why,” but, more importantly, also be able to introduce them to the “Who.” Our current Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, furthered this sentiment saying, “We cannot keep solely for ourselves this joy that we have received; joy must always be shared. Joy must be communicated.”
Throughout Sacred Scripture we’re told of the immense joy that comes through intimate encounters of God. Moses’ face became radiant after conversing with God (Exodus 34:29), the Psalmist proclaimed his joy at God’s altar (43:4), Jeremiah’s joy was unearthed through God’s Word (Jeremiah 15:16) and John the Baptist’s joy was expressed through a uterine jump that left even St. Elizabeth astounded (Luke 1:44). It should come as no surprise to us, then, to witness the sheer joy that souls – both teens and adults – experience when they encounter our Lord in both Word and Sacrament. As a Eucharistic people we, like the monstrance, reflect God’s radiance to the world in dire need of it.
So we here at Stoughton Life Teen join with our Life Teen family around the world in focusing on being people of true joy in this new year. We pray that despite attacks, assaults and hardships, we are able embrace laughter, not be afraid to make fools of ourselves from time to time, and radiate that divine joy which will bring others closer to Christ.
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