Monday, June 9, 2014
Catholic happiness: Daily Mass Homily--Monday, July 9th, 2014
One tool I often use in evangelization is to appeal to the desire for happiness. Every person wants to be happy and makes choices that they think will make them happy.
But in our Catholic tradition we must first understand the sort of happiness we are talking about because the word happy can be used in all sorts of ways. I may be happy when I go for a walk outside. I am happy when the Twins win. I will be happy when I am no longer Fr. Rich’s indentured servant.
When we speak of happiness according to the Gospel message, we are actually referring to blessedness—a state of peace, joy and contentment that is deeper than feelings. The Latin word used in the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 is beatus and this is why we call Jesus’ list the Beatitudes.
Notice that Jesus’ teaching refers to something deeper than emotions: we are called blessed when we are poor in spirit, meek, merciful, peacemakers and persecuted—all of which may be lived out despite difficult human emotions.
Trusting in God, we can live blessed lives despite negative challenges from the world, our own fallenness or evil itself. The same God who miraculously fed Elijah with ravens offers us the grace to enter into His peace even in the midst of turmoil.May we live blessed lives and experience the happiness—the beatitude—that only Christ can give.