Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A message of joy from Bishop Paul Sirba: Daily Mass Homily--Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

(Listen to this homily here).

            This morning I want to relay greetings and blessings from Bishop Paul Sirba.  He assured us of his prayers as we enter Holy Week as a diocese and as individual parishes.  He also asked us to pass along a message about joy to our parishioners, and I am happy to oblige!
            Bishop spoke about joy from three perspectives at the Chrism Mass yesterday evening.  First, he spoke about joy as a fruit of the Spirit that is a result of love.  More than feeling, joy is a spiritual reality that takes place when we love and are loved by Jesus.
            He then moved to reflect how joy is connected to evangelization.  Using Pope Francis’ The Joy of the Gospel as a witness, Bishop affirmed that joy is essential to discipleship.  Using Pope Francis’ language, he asked, “If you had to choose, would you rather spend time with a sour-puss or a joy-filled person?  Of course, the joyous one!”  As we strive to make disciples (which we are striving to do here!) we must be joyful witnesses to the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Joy is attractive.
            Finally, Bishop Sirba illustrated the joy of partaking of the sacraments.  If you need proof of this, just look at the faces of those who will be confirmed at the Easter Vigil!  Look at a family who presents a baby for Baptism.  Look at the kids who receive their first communion.  Receiving Christ through tangible signs of God’s love should spark joy in our hearts.
            Carry joy, and the theme of joy, throughout the rest of Holy Week.  Even in the darkest moments—Peter’s denial, Judas’ betrayal, the crowds’ condemnation, the crucifixion and death of Jesus—remember the joy Christ brings through his passion, death and resurrection.  Carry joy with you to Easter!

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