You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong? Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.
Americans are known to smile at everything! Europeans are known to smile at nothing. Americans tend to have more faith. Europeans tend to have no faith! Happiness is something we all seek. A smile is a confirmation – a signature – of happiness.
I will never go to the movies alone. I feel sorry for those people who do. I will not go to a restaurant alone. I will not fake my loneliness by sitting in a restaurant with my laptop open and pretend to be doing some work. I dread the thought of loneliness. I dread the thought of living my life alone. I feel sorry for the millions of people who put their career before children; adventure before marriage; themselves before others. God is love and we were created in the image and likeness of God who is love. That means, we were created to love and be loved. If I do not have love, I am nothing!
What is it worth to gain the whole world and lose your soul? What is it worth to live in a beautiful mansion, with a beautiful garden and an enormous swimming pool if I am alone? How sad it is! I have known people like that. I know too many people like that. They are wealthy on the outside and poor, very poor, dirt poor, on the inside. I will never go on a vacation alone. Maybe you would! I won’t. I don’t want to be found alone, days later, dead in a cabin or in a canoe. It is not that I don’t want to be rich. I do! But if I had to choose between being rich on the inside or on the outside, I would choose being rich on the inside - rich in what matters most!
So, are you smiling? Are you happy? If you are, then it’s because you have experienced the Lord’s blessing! “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people” (Lk 1:68). But I am asking because I know far too many “Christians” (too many “Christian” teenagers) that never smile. I know, I see them at Mass. They are so serious! So distant! So detached! Poor them! They leave a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth. I am not talking about those who are sad because of a great loss. No…please! I am referring to those who have it all – all that money can buy - and are sad! We all know that we can go shopping for a gazillion things, but the one thing we cannot buy is love or happiness or joy! We cannot buy someone’s love. Love is like the air, it is freely given and far too often taken for granted, and we need both love and air in order to live.
What is the solution? The Lord spent his entire life on earth to teach us not only how to pray but also how to live! We know the Lord’s thoughts. Do I think like Him? We know the Lord’s words. Do I speak like Him? We know the Lord’s works. Do I do what He did? If not, then chances are you will never find happiness. But if you do, then I guarantee you will find happiness because you have gone to the source, the font, the plug in which all things walk, breathe, and have their being.
“Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks. In you we live and move and have our being. Each day you show us a Father’s love; your Holy Spirit, dwelling within us, gives us on earth the hope of unending joy.”