The other day was the feast day of St. Paul Mici, one of the martyrs of Nagasaki who was crucified in 1597. Paul spoke from the cross to the Christians gathered to pray for him. One of the things he said to them was, “ask Jesus to make you happy”. What an amazing statement from a person in the midst of terrible suffering…not focused on his own pain, but concerned about others. His “last will and testament” was “ask Jesus to make you happy.”
Boy, that phrase really cuts thru a lot of complications about being a Christian. We want to be “happy”. Jesus make me happy. Happiness is a great word. It summarizes a lot of things…..contentment, intense joy, satisfaction, well-being…”all being well with my soul”.
I’m somewhat of an analyst. I can tend to complicate things at times. I need to “cover all the bases, dig deep, point out all the possibilities…. bla,bla,bla,bla.” Maybe that’s why I’m usually the last one to order when we go out to dinner. I go thru the menu, thinking about “this entrée and that one”…hmmmm, sounds good…oh, I like that one. As the waiter is standing there, I usually say, “oh I’ll go last, you order first”…finally everyone’s ordered and its’ up to me…..hmmmm….. “Judy, what do you think I’d like”….”try #12……okay, I’ll take #12”. It was easier when I used to go to McDonald’s; I always ordered a quarter pounder, fries, and a milk. That was my “go-to” meal…I really liked it.
Well, I guess we all need to have our “go-to” response ready, so that when things get complicated, we will always be ready. Dave, why are you always so happy? “Well instead of quoting the famous question posed by St. Thomas Aquinas to Augustine for the final exam to get into heaven….”if a train is going 100 mph for 50 miles and slows to 35 mph for 20 miles, what will they be serving in the dining car”. No, I should jump to my “go-to answer”….”the reason I’m so happy is that Jesus made me happy; he took care of all my problems, inviting me into the royal family and preparing a mansion for me in heaven”. While there’s certainly a lot of other vital details (like Christ’s death & resurrection….), the bottom line is that Jesus can make me happy. He is the only answer to life’s real questions.
Well, before I take us into the “weeds” with more details, I’d better end this BLOG. So, let’s just ask Jesus to make us happy…. and allow him to show us the way to this tremendous happiness, beginning here on earth and reaching completion in heaven. And thanks to St. Paul Micci for cutting through some of the fog, helping us to find happiness.