January 29, 2023- 4th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

     "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

       This is not a Biblical quotation, this is the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence. The declaration was made , and the Independence was fought for. Then it continues:"that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, "

Having that in mind we are aware, that we have life, we have liberty, and what we are seeking is happiness. As we could see it in the Declaration, the whole U.S. Government was set up for this same purpose, but can government give us happiness? What is happiness? Does it mean the same thing for all people or different things for different people? What makes your happiness? What is it, that we expect from life, what is it that we expect from God? What promises life makes us? What promises God makes us? Life's promises are free, and all that we aspire to accomplish is according to our individual likes.

   What’s are God's promises to us we read in the Gospel this Sunday in the Beatitudes:“Blessed are the poor, ......Blessed are those who mourn, ......

Blessed are the meek, .......Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, ....... Blessed are the merciful, .......Blessed are the pure of heart, ......Blessed are the peacemakers, ........Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, ......Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”

   This are God's promises! Do they correspond to your list of expectations? Did your "Happiness " list include any of this items from Christ's list of Beatitudes? If those expectations of ours don't mix with God's promises we may be talking about two different things. Are we talking about the same goals and priorities?

Jesus and God wants us to be happy with him for all eternity, and we want to be happy here and now! We need to rethink our priorities and goals for this life if we want to be part of Eternal Happiness in Heaven.

   There is nothing wrong to want to be happy here on earth, but we can't expect this happiness to last forever. Forever lasts only true Love; all other things will pass away as St Paul reminds us. Some people want their happiness in this life to last as long as they want, when they want it, and the way they want it. And that is definitely not humble for someone who "merely is a breath", who can stop living any moment, any day, any time. Our lives are not in our hands, nor is its length, nor content. We are given opportunity to show ourselves worthy of the gift of eternal happiness of being with God. We show that worthiness by making the best of our lives, by loving God and our neighbor as ourselves in all circumstances, good and bad.

     If we love God only in good circumstances, we are selfish and unrealistic, because this life has both: good and bad. And life gives us the opportunity to use our life and liberty to gain an everlasting happiness. Who doesn't see it, is blinded and has no faith in God, and thinks only in human and earthly terms. But let us remember, that life on earth existed long before we were born and will exist long after we are gone.

   So let's be grateful and humble about it. Let's make sure, that we do good because we believe and love God and neighbor, and not just for selfish reason of getting all happiness for ourselves now. Nobody gets all happiness now, and nobody gets it for their whole life on earth; so please don't demand it for yourself to be the first. Those who want to be first will be last, and those who are last, will be the first. Loving God even in difficult circumstances, shows that we understood and appreciate what Jesus did for us in his life on earth, and that we believe in eternal life that he revealed. Jesus please give us some happiness now in this life, and all happiness in eternity with You.

God bless everyone always!!!!

Fr. Stan