After a long absence, I have decided to again use this site to supplement the reading and issues we discuss at our Sunday morning gathering.
We are examining Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation of November 2013, and joy is a major theme.
What follows is a homily by James Casciotti S.J. on joy.
I should title this homily, "Reflections of a Melancholic," because l for one do not bear up well under joy. Recollected, somber emotions seem somehow more remand better suited to long-term use.
Yet, the Liturgy of the Church insists that joy is at least as much a part of being a Christian as sorrow. We celebrate, not seven Sundays after Easter, but seven Sundays of Easter; indeed, every Sunday is supposed to be a "little Easter."
The Easter Prefaces pound home the message: "the joy of the resurrection renews the whole world." It does? St. Augustine tells us that "We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song." Sis Boom Ba. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.
Today we will reflect on what Christian joy means and requires -and why many of us are uneasy with it. One reason we reluctant cheerleaders find it hard to be caught up in joy for very long is that we live in an aggressively secular, news-bite culture which gives us little help with sustained communal celebration.