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Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.--Psalm 100:2
Mass readings: Colossians 1:15-20 / Luke 5:33-39
In today's Gospel, Jesus insists that joy -- not sacrifice -- is a sign of faith. The Pharisees were harassing Him because His disciples weren't fasting like many other dour-faced Jews. Jewish religious practice had become heavy and joyless. Jesus compared His coming and the unfolding kingdom of God to a Jewish wedding. Nobody fasted at a wedding!
Before he became pope, the future Pope Benedict XVI echoed Christ's message about joy. He noted that he seldom saw people showing great joy. It seemed to be out of fashion. Some people also feared upsetting people who had few reasons for joy. True Christian faith, the cardinal said, is anchored in joy. Believers see that ''the world is basically good, that God is there and [that God] is good.'' That's reason enough for a lifetime of joy.
Prayer: Jesus, You are the reason for our joy. Help us to feel it, show it, share it.
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