Years ago, a friend of mine gave me a cassette tape (like I said, it was years ago!) that featured Fr. Larry Richards entitled, The Mass Explained. In it, Fr. Larry spoke of the hypocrisy of Catholics who walk around without joy. He spoke of the incredible sacrifice of the Mass and how if we all believe in it, we would have a smile beaming from ear to ear, each and every day. I took this point to heart. Before grousing or complaining, I try to make a concerted effort to reflect on the fact that the Lord has blessed my life immensely and has made the ultimate sacrifice for me. I use this as motivation to show more joy.
The Archbishop of Detroit, Allen Vigneron, envisions a culture where each of us is transformed into Joyful Missionary Disciples. Joy is intentionally included and listed first in this description. If we are to attract others to God, we must lead with joy.
Matthew Kelly states in his book, Life Is Messy, “The more joy we bring to others, the more our own joy expands.” If we live with joy and work to spread that joy, our world will change. We’ve all heard the adage, “The more you give, the more you receive.” Can you imagine what the world would look like if everyone resonated joy? For those of you already showing joy with every interaction, keep up the good work, you are unconsciously giving the rest of us permission to do the same. For the rest of us, let’s contemplate what we need to do differently to show more joy each day.