WATCHING FOR THE LIGHT – WEEK 3: GRINCHES NEED NOT APPLY
IT’S THE TIME TO GET IN TOUCH WITH OUR NEW FOUND JOY
- For Jesus’ friends and followers Jesus becoming human is an occasion for joy
- We’re eager to sing “Joy to the World!”
- In these difficult times we long for a newfound joy that brings us together around Jesus
- He is the promise of better, easier, more peaceful among us
- In drawing closer to Jesus, we draw closer to each other
WHAT DOES OURE UNADULTERATED JOY LOOK LIKE
- Video conversation between Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama
- They are dear friends and exude joy with each other
- A Buddhist and a Christian – Their shared laughter expands their hearts
- They shared a week together in India in 2015. Their conversations became a bestselling book; Lasting Happiness in a Changing World: The Book of Joy
The Eight Pillars of The Book of Joy
- perspective (How do I look at something in the most positive of lights?)
- humility (Think of Mary, never overwhelmed by having to always look good to others)
- humor (The great Italian priest of the sixteenth century used to stand in the corner of a piazza in Rome, with half of his beard cut off, dressed in ridiculous clothing. And the people would roar with laughter. Saint Father Philip would often say, “A joyful heart is more easily made perfect than a downcast one.)
- acceptance (the only place where change can happen)
- forgiveness (freeing ourselves from the past. Struggling to forgive or an unwillingness to forgive another hurts me more than the person who hurt me.)
- gratitude (I am fortunate to be alive)
- compassion (another person’s pain in my heart – the ability to suffer with another person)
- generosity (you are filled with joy)
WAS JOHN THE BAPTIST JOYFUL?
- Truth be told, I don’t know-He seems very serious-perhaps perceived as a grinch
- Did not mince words with people
- Calling people, a “brood of vipers” probably not a good idea
CONVERSION OF THE HEART- A SERIOUS THING
- In Greek metanoia means a radical readjustment of one’s perspective
- Metanoia is deeper than simple sorrow for selfishness or sinfulness
- I take on the perspective of Jesus – That can’t be negotiated
THE BAPTIST’S RESPONSE TO HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE SECOND COMING
- BE GENEROUS! How many coats do you have that you have not worn in a year?
- BE HONEST! Don’t put on a good act for others. Don’t try to impress!
- BE JUST! Justice is about being right with the Lord and with others.
- Justice restores people who feel oppressed. Justice is necessary for peace.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu would agree. Be generous. Be honest. Be just.” These life choices most certainly lend themselves to filing our hearts with joy, putting a sparkle in our eyes and a big smile on our faces.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- What impacted you from the readings/homily?
- How easy or difficult is it for you to sing “Joy to the World” today?
- Of the Eight Pillars of Joy, which pillar is the easiest and which pillar is the most difficult for you?
- What is your thought about John the Baptist’s response of generosity, honesty and justice? Which is most important to you? Which do you struggle with the most?
- Have you ever felt joy in practicing generosity, honesty and/or justice?