Joy. Peace. Harmony. Unity.
Elusive words? Only heard in church? Or, no longer mere words but authentic feelings living and breathing within our hearts and souls. Feelings that cannot be kept silent or only kept to ourselves. In words and attitudes that need to be boldly witnessed and shared. The old joke about the beginning of TV’s Evening News after hearing “Good evening,” is the only “good” you will hear; complete with drug ads that you’re happy you don’t need.
“It’s a beautiful day today” is responded with “It’s gonna rain tomorrow” is one of my favorite, dividing Wisconsin exchanges.
St. Catherine has held up “joy” as a theme for the year. Moments of joy, joyful times with family and friends, joy filled musical Masses, even the joy of a funeral in sending love back to God. We need a theme for next year to help carry us, together as a parish, through a new year.
In the Broadway show, “Into the Woods,” the witch sings, “You’re so nice. You’re not good, you’re not bad, You’re just nice. I’m not good, I’m not nice, I’m just right. I’m the witch. You’re the world.”
I’m guilty of overusing “nice.” “Nice day.” “Nice outfit.” “Nice car.” Surely a compliment but hardly touching one’s fragile heart.
Revelations doesn’t mince words with, “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” And, there you have it.
It’s risky by proclaiming and projecting joy. Weird, baffling looks. “How many drinks did he have!” How often we pray for peace, publicly or privately, but can cause discord in one sentence or phrase. We pride our inner selves toward others with confrontations, contradictions and corrections.
The Incarnation of Jesus Christ means that the living God lives within us. And, there you have it.
Please correct me when I mindlessly say to you, “Have a nice day.” Upon hearing that, my dad sarcastically wanted to respond, “Now I have to change my plans.”