If you’re 50 and over, you may remember the hit song “Get Happy” which was recorded by a host of popular artists including Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and others. The catchy little tune begins this way:
Forget your troubles and just get happy
You better chase all your cares away
Shout Hallelujah, come on, get happy
Get ready for the Judgment Day
Those a bit younger are no doubt familiar with a much more recent song simply titled, “Happy.” Composer and vocalist Pharrell Williams’ widely acclaimed hit has been described by critics as “a happy affair with a cheerful beat and exuberant vocal.” (Sounds like a song we can get happy about, doesn’t it?). Mr. Williams recorded the song for a blockbuster animated film, and since its release, his number one song has sold nearly 7 million copies — a number which no doubt has made Mr. Williams very happy!
Shout Hallelujah, come on, get happy? That’s just a silly lyric we may say. That’s much easier sung, than done, we may say. But have you noticed how an exuberant, “happy” song can shake you out of a dark mood faster than seeing a three-year-old wearing a plate of spaghetti on his head? Indeed, the positive effect of music is one of those wonderful gifts that can touch us at the deepest levels of our being. And we are reminded on almost a daily basis how important a positive attitude can contribute to a healthy and happy life, and in the same way, how a negative attitude can have the opposite effect.
Just recently for example, a Time Magazine headline warned us that “Anger Can Raise the Risk of Heart Attack Eightfold.” And only a few weeks earlier another publication presented the results of a new study which focused on the other end of the spectrum — what makes us happy. For us, it should come as no surprise the study reported loving relationships at the top of the list of factors contributing to more healthy and happy lives. The research was presented along with the release of a new short film called “Happiest Moments” — featuring older couples passing on advice to a much younger generation. According to a spokesperson for the study and subsequent film, “the overwhelming message from those with the most life experience is that the key to happiness is to worry less, and live in the moment with the people you care about most.” He could have just as easily concluded, “Forget your troubles and just get happy!” Or “Don’t Worry be Happy!” one of a Reggae style of song that came out during the late 90’s.
The late Eric Hoffer, San Francisco’s famous longshoreman/philosopher once wrote, “It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one’s neighbor.” And many of us will no doubt agree. In response to Jesus’ command in today’s Gospel, we find it easier to love in the abstract — “out there” somewhere — than to connect with our true source of happiness which is simply being with and loving the people we care most about.
In today’s Gospel Lesson, on the eve of His Crucifixion, Jesus is in the midst of preparing the Apostles for what lies ahead: a Divine pep-talk, so to speak. He is shoring up their courage. He is fortifying their faith. He is promising the Holy Spirit will be coming into their lives: the “Spirit of Truth.” And He is giving them some final instructions on how to be His witnesses in the world. “I chose you,” He reminds them, “and I commissioned you to go out and bear fruit, fruit that will last; and then the Father will give you anything you ask Him in My Name. What I command you is
“TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER” (Jn. 15:16,17).
Jesus’ design for living — Love one another! — has resounded through the Ages and will continue to resound in all the Ages to come. By God’s design, the building of His Kingdom is an affair of the heart.
By God’s design, the building of the Kingdom is a family affair.
By God’s design, His Kingdom will come to the extent that it is nurtured and developed in the hearts of His children and h
In today’s Gospel Lesson, on the eve of His Crucifixion, Jesus is in the midst of preparing theirs.
By God’s design, His Kingdom will come, Jesus assures us when we have learned to exuberantly “love one another,” as He has loved us. By God’s design, these are the keys to Genuine Happiness!
Peace and Blessings!
Liturgical Music Corner by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown
May 10, Sixth Sunday of Easter
Entrance Antiphon: “Proclaim a joyful sound and let it be heard; proclaim to the ends of the earth: the Lord has freed his people, alleluia!”
More reflections on the Easter season, “rising from the dead”, and our own mortality,
Last week I wrote a bit about our family’s recent scare with my husband’s cardiac episode in which his defibrillator kicked on and basically saved his life. What can you do in a situation like that? You feel very helpless; you call 911, you follow their instructions, and you pray. You pray like you’ve never prayed before, and you ask everyone else to pray. “Where two or three are gathered…” Our lives are in God’s hands, after all, He created us, and if we really believe what our faith tells us we know that He has promised to be with us and never forsake us. Jesus taught his disciples to pray; He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, and He prayed from the cross: “Father, forgive them”. Let us take our example from Jesus, praying with all our hearts, and trusting in his promises.
This is why Jesus died and rose for us, to give us hope in Him and in His promises, especially in His promise of eternal life.
Songs for the 9 am Mass:
Gathering Song: Hail Holy Queen # 205
Gloria in excelsis Deo, Gloria, gloria!
Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra, terra pax.
Psalm 98: The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
Preparation of Gifts: Alleluia, Love is Alive # 164 Angrisano
Communion: Ubi Caritas (Ubi caritas et amor, ubi caritas Deus ibi est.)
Hail Mary, Gentle Woman # 703
Recessional: Lord I Lift Your Name on High (ss)
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