‘Inspiring Others with Joy’

The Gospel today reminds me of an interesting prayerful quotation attributed to St. Teresa of Avila: “From sullen, somber and serious saints, deliver us O, Lord!”

These “sullen, somber and serious saints” are somehow embodied by the Pharisees, to whom Jesus in the Gospel commented, “can the wedding guests mourn when the bridegroom is with them?”

St. Thomas said that Joy is the emotion produced when we are able to possess or attain something that we love or consider good. For people who have found and “possessed” God – those who felt loved by God, it is impossible not to dance and sing for joy.

The Saints, it could be said, are those who knew well that they were greatly loved by God and that their hopes were not in vain with the resurrected Lord. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is joy. This joy springs forth from the realization of being loved by God.

St. Teresa’s words, strange as it may seem, hits the core. Who would be inspired by or drawn to a sad, gloomy, strict and serious saint anyway?

Tomorrow’s Gospel reminds us that a good way to show the world that I am follower of Jesus, is to live with an inspiring and infectious joy that springs from the conviction of being loved by the Lord and being with Him. We can evangelize by attraction.

By: Sem. Tristan Ralf Q. Pacheco

Today’s Gospel

MT 9:14-17

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
“Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast.
No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth,
for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse.
People do not put new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined.
Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”

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