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CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE JOYFUL

We generally complain about the negative things in life but we fail to look at the positive side of it. What is the positive in your negatives? Look at the better part of life today and make your everyday a great day.

A young woman was sitting at her dining table, worried about taxes to be paid, house-work to be done and to top it all, her family was coming over for “Thanksgiving” the next day. She was not feeling very thankful at that time. As she turned her gaze sideways, she noticed her young daughter scribbling furiously into her notebook. “My teacher asked us to write a paragraph on “Negative Thanksgiving” for homework today,” said the daughter. “She asked us to write down things that we are thankful for, things that make us feel not so good in the beginning, but turn out to be good after all.” With curiosity, the mother peeked into the book. This is what her daughter wrote: “I am thankful for Final Exams, because that means school is almost over.  I am thankful for bad-tasting medicine, because it helps me feel better.  I am thankful for waking up by alarm clocks, because it means I am still alive.”  It then dawned on the mother, that she had a lot of things to be thankful for!

She thought again…..She had to pay taxes but that meant she was fortunate to be employed. She had house-work to do but that meant she had her own home to live in. She had to cook for her family for “Thanksgiving” but that meant she had a family with whom she could celebrate. I am happy and blessed.

Hurricanes, floods, rain, earthquakes, eruptions, lightning and thunder quite understandably advertise God’s might. But so do the inimitable realities close at hand, like anything living or growing, every leaf and insect. No human being can make them. No human can create life. Yet you make food out of living tissue each day.

How clearly the sky reveals God’s glory! How plainly it shows what he has done! Each day announces it to the following day; each night repeats it to the next. No speech or words are used, no sound is heard;  yet their message goes out to all the world and is heard to the ends of the earth. God made a home in the sky for the sun; it comes out in the morning like a happy bridegroom, like an athlete eager to run a race. It starts at one end of the sky and goes across to the other. Nothing can hide from its heat (Psalms 19:1-6).

Pope Francis called on Christians to be joyful, and said pessimism is not Christian. Contrasting the joyful countenance of a person who has been forgiven and redeemed, with the face of someone attending a wake, Pope Francis delivered a homily on the joy that springs from the forgiveness of sin and the closeness of the Lord. Pope speak of the profound joy that comes from within, which is very different from the pleasure that we feel at a party. The whole liturgy cries out, “Rejoice, rejoice!”

Be joyful because the Lord is always with us. From the moment when He called Abraham He “is in our midst,” in the midst of our trials, our difficulties, our joys, in every moment of our life. For this reason, we should take time during the day to speak with the Lord, “who is by our side,” who is involved in our daily life.

We should not allow ourselves to throw up our arms in despair in our misfortunes. Pessimism is not Christian. It is rooted in not knowing that one is forgiven, rooted in never feeling the caresses of God. And the Gospel, we could say, makes us see this joy: ‘Joyful Mary rose up and went in haste…’ Joy brings us in haste, always, because the grace of the Holy Spirit does not recognize slowness, it doesn’t recognize it… The Holy Spirit always goes in haste, always pushes us: going forward, like the wind in the sails, on the boat.

Pope Francis said that the only adequate response to God’s gift of His Son Jesus is the profound gratitude for the many graces we’ve been given. From Mary “the Church has inherited and continuously inherits this inner perception of fullness, which nourishes a sense of gratitude, as the only human response worthy of the immense gift of God,” A heart wrenching gratitude which, starting from the contemplation of that Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger, extends to everything and everyone, to the whole world.

Sharing the joy of the risen Lord let be happy and let us impart happiness to the entire world. In our lives there are a million reasons to thank the Lord.

Elsy Mathew

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