Luke 5:33-39 Be Happy!
“The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same; but yours eat and drink.” Jesus replied, “Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?” How those days must have been when Jesus walked on the earth. Did the Apostles know by now that they were in the presence of the Lord? I doubt it. They were too busy worrying about daily affairs (food, money, expenses); of what others thought of them (family members, the Pharisees and scribes, the crowds). The Lord was thirty thousand feet above, while his disciples were skimming the face of the earth.
Lord, may I never lose sight that you are near me; may I never forget the love you have shown to those who commit their lives to you. St. Paul is disgusted with the way some members of the community are living their lives. Can they be trusted? Are they judging? Are they hiding from the truth? Those who should be happy, grateful and generous are living a life of sadness and suspicion. They are hoarding for themselves the blessings of the Lord. But the real damage is in bringing others down. The Lord has no use for them. They are like cut flowers – here today, gone tomorrow. A sad saint is a sad saint! There is no reason to be sad! “The Lord be with you! And with your Spirit too.” Before the Lord was crucified, the Apostles remained concerned, frightened and alone because they did not know the presence of the Lord. They remained frightened, alone and concerned during the Lord’s Passion. They remained alone, frightened and concerned after the Lord’s death. Only when the Lord appeared to them did they have tongues of fire and unlimited energy to go to preach and reach the ends of the earth! What a waste of time. If they only knew that for three years they were guests in a wedding feast! Do not delay. Do not even waste a second of your life with unnecessary, unproductive fear. The Lord be with you!
A student of mine once remarked, “Father Alfonse, it is so easy to talk to you.” I smiled and said, “Thank you so much!” “Yes”, the student replied, “it’s like…you’re not holy or anything like that!” I took the comment as a compliment. I think I understood what they were trying to say. Our happiness is our greatest reason to the world for being Christian. And happiness is a fruit of love! “The days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days.” And even then, we are to fast with a smile upon our face! (cf. Mt 6:16)
The Christian life is to preach and to live the Good News. Our mission is to go throughout the world and to give meaning to the world. Our technique is to fight our opponent, tooth and nail, by taking off their boxing gloves and lowering their hands (even if it means losing some teeth and getting nailed to the cross!) This is how the Christian always fights. Why? The Psalmist reminds us why: Trust in the Lord and do good… Commit to the Lord your way. Turn from evil that you may abide forever. Set your life straight! “The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.” Follow the leader.