Friday of the Third Week


SG 2: 8-14

LK 1: 39-45


Today’s gospel reading is one of my favorite scripture passages. Although I don’t remember the first time I read or heard that passage, the image of John the Baptist leaping in the womb for joy at the sound of Mary’s voice has always been powerful for me. 

Do you remember the last time that you leaped with joy? It’s not unusual to find children leaping with excitement for a range of reasons in a variety of places, and sometimes for seemingly no reason at all. It’s more unusual to see adults leaping for joy. At some point during development, our tendency to physically show our joy by jumping to great heights decreases, and we usually only leap for special occasions. I believe that advent is one of those special occasions that warrants a leap, regardless of age. 

What can we do to get into the spirit of the season? To truly experience the joy for the birth of Jesus, I encourage you to experience advent in a way that renews your excitement for this season of joyful expectation. Sit quietly and observe the advent wreath lights. With a loved one, reflect on the colors of advent and what they mean for the season. Start a new advent tradition with your family. Visit a new nativity scene in a different neighborhood. Go to a museum or go online to view art that helps you to reflect on hope, faith, joy and peace that we celebrate during advent. Read new devotionals or share your favorite one with someone. You can still keep your traditions that bring you joy and help you to prepare for the coming of Jesus; just add some new opportunities to experience the season with a renewed spirit.

My prayer for you is that your advent season is filled with all the hope and rejoicing that the season offers. And if you feel the urge to leap for joy in anticipation of the birth of Jesus, then that will be another one of my prayers answered for you.

Happy holidays! 

Jennifer Zwolinski, Ph.D.
Associate Provost for Faculty Research and Development
Professor, Psychological Sciences