Monday, December 14, 2009

December 15, 2008 to December 14, 2009


You probably know that Disneyland, the home of Mickey and Minnie and all their friends, is called “the happiest place on earth.” Yet some people think Disneyland represents a false, shallow, or materialistic version of reality – surely it could bear no resemblance to the Gospel message? But when Disneyland opened in 1955, Walt Disney said he wanted “this happy place ...(to be) a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

Walt Disney himself had the opposite of a happy childhood – abuse, school failures, and later business failures. But his life's dream was always to bring people back to their original innocence and joy in living, to restore happiness. “The worst of us is not without innocence, although buried deeply it might be. In my work I try to reach and speak to that innocence, showing it the fun and joy of living .... showing it that the human species, although happily ridiculous at times, is still reaching for the stars.” Today ( third Sunday of Advent ), we hear similar messages: Isaiah saying, “Rejoice! I've got good news for the poor!” Mary saying”My spirit rejoices in God,” and Paul giving advice on how to live with deep happiness. We would love to be this joyful, but the pursuit of happiness seems more like a struggle. We wonder, “How is it possible to be truly joyful in this world?”

It is simple. The saints can be happy for one reason: they pour ALL their joys and ALL their tragedies into the one place big enough to hold every memory in ixistence forever – God's heart. It is God's heart that loved YOU into existence. As time draws near to hear the Christmas story again, it is good to recall how that story will “end” -- that the power of Jesus' Resurrection “dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy!” Go in peace to love and serve our God!

From the Sunday bulletin of St. Michael R.C. Parish for Sunday, December 13th, 2009 – third Sunday of Advent.

Zephaniah 3:14-18

(Psalm) Isaiah 12: 2-6

Philippians 4: 4-7

Luke 3: 10-18

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