Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What happened to joy?

The saint whose memorial we celebrate today, Philip Neri, was according to one author known for three things: love of the poor, gospel simplicity, and joy in service of the Lord. The Church underscores the latter by having as the first reading for the memorial St. Paul telling us to

Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice. (Phil 4:4)

Literally, be happy!

St. Paul commands us to be happy always, and for emphasis he repeats the command. And yet if you asked to average person to describe Christians would happy/cheerful even be in the top five adjectives. Sadly, part of what has made Pope Franics so popular is his cheerful demeanor. I say sadly because the cheerful demeanor shouldn't be exceptional it should be the norm for all Christians. The response should be "Of course, he's cheerful, he's a Christian."

We are cheerful not because we ignore evil but because we know that

In all these things we are more than conquerors

Evil cannot win.

Today let us all imitate St. Philip Neri and show our joy to the world