Waiting, Beauty and Hope: Advent Reflection on Joy and Courage

In this Advent and Christmas seasons, I reflect upon our present realities. “Will there still be Joy?” My answer is YES.


by Evelyn Sabate 

Mission Promotion-Animator (Luzon)

Since I was young, my favorite color has been pink. My family even fondly called me “pink girl”. One day, someone told me that the color I favor speaks a lot about who I am. I became curious about it and   thought, what does pink represent and what does it say about me?

After eagerly searching the internet, I found out that Pink suggests compassion, or someone who is nurturing, loving, kind and sensitive to the needs of others. I was amazed that it really fits my personality and aligns with what I consider important.

If you know me personally, you might agree and say, “That is you, Eve!”

I also found out that pink represents joy and courage.

Working as a mission promotion-animator in the Luzon area and fulfilling all my responsibilities took me a lot of grit and courage. One of my tasks is to accompany Columban mission partners, benefactors and other supporters in visitations and other monthly activities. Beyond that role, I endeavour to bridge the relationship between partners and the Columban Missionaries. My experience with them has helped me grow as a person and remain courageous in all my endeavors for the mission, especially in caring for those in need.

Travelling from one place to another, meeting people, doing home to home visitations, sending inspiring messages and prayers have given me joy in my everyday working life. One of my more memorable experiences is the home visitations to our mission partners. Listening to their stories has helped me understand the state of life they’re in. Despite their personal struggles, these partners have managed to generously share what they have for the mission. These, and more give me the inspiration and courage to continue my journey as a mission promotion animator.

In this Advent and Christmas seasons, I reflect upon our present realities. “Will there still be Joy?”

My answer is YES. Joy is a gift from God. But only with God in our lives can we experience joy even in the midst of the pandemic, suffering and challenges in life.

Joy might seem similar to happiness or pleasure, but though these are very enjoyable experiences in life – when they come to us – they are not in themselves joy. For happiness and pleasure are usually related to specific times and events and they are not permanent, they come and they go, like riches, position and material things. Joy, however, is something deeper and something lasting; it can withstand suffering and even pain. Joy reminds us that there will always be light in our darkness and hope in our lives, for hope knows the taste of fear, tragedy and even despair, and that these will not triumph.

The season of Advent and Christmas is one which we celebrate with great joy, the coming of Jesus into the world and into our lives. Let us allow ourselves to be transformed by Christ’s presence and have the courage to let go and let God in because as St. Columban said, “We belong to Christ and not to ourselves.”

We pray that we may know the peace, hope and joy of God among us in this holy season and that this spirit of joy may carry us into the coming New Year.