Living and Praying with Joy

Living and Praying with Joy

December 6, 2015 | HNMWebmaster | Advent, Blessings, Faith, Family, Father Salvador, Homilies, Hope, Joy, Love, Prayer, St. Luke

Second Sunday of Advent
December 6, 2015 – Year C
Readings: Bar 5:1-9 / Psalm 126 / Phil 1:4-6, 8-11 / Lk 3:1-6
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

The recent Bedford Christmas 5K race and the concert by the Lynchburg Youth Symphony Orchestra remind me of the significance of this year’s theme of the Bedford Christmas Parade: “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It was obviously taken from the classic movie of the same title that’s supposed to have taken place in a town called Bedford Falls.

As the story of this movie classic tells us, in spite of all our problems, trials, difficulties, frustrations, it is still a wonderful life. As the saying goes: “If you want to be a happy soul, you should look upon the donut and not upon the hole.” If we open the eyes of our faith, we will see that each and every one of us, without exception, can make a difference in other people’s lives in this world.

In today’s second reading, which is taken from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians, the apostle was giving words of encouragement to the Christians in Philippi, who were at that time undergoing all sorts of trials and persecution. So he wrote them: “I thank my God every time I pray for you. And when I pray for you, I pray with joy.”

Indirectly, he was telling them the secret of attaining happiness, even in the midst of troubles. If we try to recall at this very moment, for instance, the happiest moment in our lives, probably very few of us would say that it was at a moment when we were alone or doing nothing, and nobody was bothering us. More likely, you will remember those happy times when you were at your grandparents’ house, when you got your favorite gift from Santa, when you got engaged or got married, when you saw your first child, and for grandparents, when you saw your first grandchild. And so on.

In most if not all of these time, you were probably in the company of the people whom you love and who love you unconditionally.

St. Paul was trying to tell the early Christians, and yes, he’s telling each and every one of us, Christ’s followers in the 21st century, that if we are in God’s company, we will experience joy in the complete sense of the word, because God is the source of peace, hope, and love. In fact, He is the author of life itself. And the good news is that He is always with us. If we want to be close to Him and feel His loving presence, all we need to do is pray. Because in doing so, we will also be able to say, like St. Paul: “I thank my God each time I pray for you. And when I pray, I pray with joy.”