Humor and joy, not ‘tumor’ and ‘boils’
The story is told about a pastor and a priest standing by a road and holding up a sign that reads: “Turn back now. The end is near!” A motorist passes, shouts “Religious fanatics!” and proceeds. After some moments, a loud crashing sound is heard from afar. Whereupon the pastor says to the priest, “Maybe it would be better to hold up a ‘Bridge Out’ sign instead?”
In today’s Gospel (Lk. 3:10-18), John is very clear in his message of repentance and conversion because the end is near. He is very specific on the need to share one’s blessings and refrain from fraud, dishonesty, extortion, and false accusations. Very clear warnings for us, too, in our present day and time.
Today is Gaudete Sunday, a day of rejoicing, for the coming of the Lord is near. Today, we light the third candle of the Advent wreath which signifies joy. Let us not be so stressed and burdened by things connected to Christmas as a holiday, so much so that we forget Christmas as a holy day and miss the inner joy that this most beautiful time of the year brings.
Focus on the humor and joy, not on the “tumors” and “boils” in your life. We are exhorted to be joyful in spite of the apathy, sorrow, uncertainties, problems, sickness, and difficulties around us. More than holiday candles and Christmas lights, let our faces and hearts light up with joy. And let us also make the faces and hearts of the people around us light up with joy!
Now is the best time to let go and share our blessings with others. Let go of your accumulated stuff that are just gathering dust and that if shared, could make people smile. Perhaps next Christmas? Hmmm…
Having survived a car accident last February, a lung surgery, and four cycles of chemotherapy, I can’t help but be grateful that I am still alive this Christmas, and just savor every single Christmas moment that this time of the year brings. Let us not take our lives, or the lives of the people around us, for granted. No matter what, let us remember: Gratitude is the best attitude.
I look now at life as not just something borrowed from or lent by God, but also as a bonus from God. When we are given a new lease on life, we must be grateful. If God extends our life, it means we still have a mission in life. Forget complaints, resentments, hurts, and disappointments. Just be joyful, and be grateful. That’s all.
At a gathering the other day I met two of the wealthiest and most powerful persons in our land. Awesome? Yes, but they owe our people some explanations on how they acquired and now use their money and power. Impressive? Yes, but are they repressive of others in their acquisition and use of their wealth and power? Indeed, to whom much is given, much is also required.
Nothing and no one can stop the light of God from shining through! There’s a story I heard about a school where the mention of God was prohibited in the students’ graduation program. So there was no mention of God at all, until the valedictorian of a class came to the podium and, as he started his speech, let out a big, loud sneeze. And the whole crowd chorused: “God bless you!” He looked around at the audience, took a bow, and walked away with a smile, with everyone standing up to cheer him on!
As Christmas approaches, please check: Is your faith firm? Is your hope joyful? Is your charity active?
A moment with the Lord: Lord, help me to focus on humor and joy, and not on the “tumors” and “boils” in my life. Amen.
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