Pope Francis reminds us that the hallmark of a Christian should be joy and peace, even in the midst of difficult times. We can become discouraged by the state of the world, the squabbling in our families, the economic difficulties we face, and even the dissension and scandals in our church. We need frequent reminders that God still has the world in his hands, even if we can’t always see it. The world of first-century Palestine, the world into which Jesus was born, had its own conflicts and strife. But Jesus brought hope and peace to his world, and he continues to bring the same to ours. Getting back to the beginning of the life of Jesus can bring back some of the joy and innocence of childhood and remind us that a tiny faith can blossom into something much greater.
—from the book The Joy of Advent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek