Consider this… Where’s your joy?
This weekend we celebrate all Mother’s and the joy they bring to our lives and world. Last weekend we crowned our Blessed Mother on Saturday in a beautiful celebration as Mass began. Mary is the model not just of a perfect disciple, but also of a beloved and devoted mother. She bears, cares for and nurtures her son, Jesus so that he can grow and live his mission in this world. It takes the love and care of a mother to help their children realize the potential of who they are to become in the world. Today, may all who are mother’s in any way to another be blessed in their mission of bringing joy and purpose to the next generation.
The Gospel this weekend presents us with a foundational question; What is the source of your joy? Many times people confuse happiness with joy. Being happy can be a surface feeling. We can be happy for many reasons, but joy goes to the heart of a person. Joy is an inner conviction and does not always directly relate to happiness. At times even, we can be joyful yet sad, grieving, frustrated or some other emotion. The Gospel today challenges us to see that for joy to be completely in our lives we must have Jesus. Read that again, true, complete joy requires Jesus!
When I visit the school kids during the week, at times there are questions I answer or conversations that are had that inspire me. A few weeks ago, I was in the seventh-grade classroom during their religion class and they were discussing why Sunday Mass was important. Some in class were making the case that school Mass on Friday’s was good enough. The analogy I used with them seemed to make them all think and I believe it is rooted in the joy Jesus can offer us. I told the students that I would buy tickets for them to any football game they wanted. I then asked the students, What game would you choose? They thought for a moment and then one student yelled ‘the Superbowl’! They all agreed. I then shared with them that Sunday Mass is the Superbowl of each week. It celebrates the Lord’s day (a commandment) and the Risen Jesus. It also begins the week in a joyful way because we are gathered to fully participate in God’s plan for us. I asked the students, when you can go to the Superbowl, why would you settle for a preseason game, or not show up at all? It actually left the seventh grade pretty speechless. I think we need that reminder once in a while in our lives too. The great mystery of God’s love and joy is available to us on Sunday, and if we want to live the best version of our lives it must include Jesus who is present at Mass.
With our new 5:30pm Mass on Saturday, it offers another opportunity for us to experience the love and joy that will complete us. Invite someone to join who maybe hasn’t been to Mass in a while. Help them to experience the joy that provides the best foundation in our lives.
Keep smiling, :_)