What is true happiness?

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The WORD in other words (2016) by Fr. Jun Pateño, SVD (U.S.A.)

Wednesday 23rd Week in Ordinary Time

“Beatitude” literally means happiness or blessedness. Jesus in this gospel is presenting us with the qualities of life that should make us happy and live in blessedness. 

A High School student in Colegio Verbo Divino, Guaranda, Ecuador came up to me with tears in her eyes: “Me siento muy enojado con mi familia y no estoy feliz!” (I feel very angry with my family and I am not happy.) Coming from a rich family she didn’t need money but the warmth and loving caress of her Mom and Dad.

Her experience challenged me and made me reflect on the importance of Christ’s message in the gospel today. What then is the true source of happiness in life?

From his teaching of God’sKingdom, Jesus addresses the issue of true happiness as demanding a transformation from within and a conversion of heart and mind with the help of the Holy Spirit. Sure enough we can be filled with happiness if we empty ourselves first of the “extra baggage” of worldly things in our lives. For a man of faith, possessing God and Him alone is surely the greatest treasure in life.

Working with the Indiginas in the mountains of Guaranda, Ecuador and with the Mangyans of Mindoro gave me great rejoicing that such people taught me to be happy in spite of their “nothingness.” It was a challenge that inspired me to offer more time with them even beyond the call of duty.

Let us not forget the promise of Jesus to his disciples when he told them that the joys of heaven will compensate for the troubles and hardships they can expect in this world.

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