6th Sunday of Easter - Sunday, May 21, 2017

Father Jim Valk's picture

Father Jim Valk

May 19, 2017

What with newspapers, CNN, Twitter and “fake news” it is not hard to recognize that negativity is what attracts our attention.  Let’s face it “good news” does not sell newspapers or hold our attention! How often is the front page covered with good news? Unfortunately the good news is delegated to a few pages in, if there is any to be found! Have you ever seen a picture of a couple celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary on the front page or the healthy birth of a long awaited child after numerous miscarriages? No! What part of the newspaper are you? Are you a person who focuses on the positive rather than the negative? Do you dwell on what we have, what we can do and not what we don’t have and what we can’t do?

Do you take some time each day to reflect upon what positive/good things happened in your life today? Did you give the gift of joy through a gesture of love to someone today? The joy of the resurrection, the joy of Jesus, the joy of feeling fully alive is least likely to possess me when I let my life evolve around me—my aches and pains, my hurt feelings, the rudeness of the checkout clerk, the lack of appreciation when conferring a favour, the hundred and one daily challenges that make us turn in on ourselves as we utter “Woe is me!” Joy returns only when I turn outward; when I can bring a smile to a child who rarely feels love, a supportive phone call to a friend going through chemo or bring hope to a marginalized person who is so easy to ignore. Love is all we have for now. What we don’t know is how much time we have to keep giving this gift of joy.

The teaching of Jesus offers us clear instructions to enable us to be to be faithful to God’s will. It summarizes what is required in order to live a wholesome life that reflects God’s truth and beauty. Its purpose is to rid our lives of selfishness and self centeredness so that we can learn to put God and other people first, and ourselves last. No one wants to be abandoned, ignored, forgotten….. We are not left orphaned. Jesus is always with us. His love says “I will never leave you”. Eventually loved ones pass on and leave us, but their spirits and memories of them live on in us. The heartbreak of their departure gives way to the promise of a reunion.  Love makes it so. Hopefully reducing the pain of loss and giving you the encouragement to treasure the time you have with those near and dear to you even more. This is the wonder, the hope and the joy we are entitled to—the joy of the Resurrection. Watch for these “holy moments” each day!