“Resurrection People exude joy no matter the circumstance.  These people live a faith that attracts others.  They seem to possess a depth and a groundedness.  Their eyes dance with joy that seems untouchable.  If you listen to their stories, you hear about plenty of hurt and hardship.  But you also hear a quiet, strong confidence in someone other than themselves as they share about how God carried them through many tough times. Their eyes are framed by the lines of life but keep their sparkle of joy. It is obvious they have encountered the risen Jesus (page 120)”

Who do you know that is a Resurrection Person? Who do you know that is filled with the joy of knowing the risen Lord?

Our lives are not always fun-filled days.  There are tough days, those times when we are let-down, or things are not going our way and nothing seems to be working out. Everyone has these tough days where we know we are broken and unhappy.  Yet, no matter how broken and unhappy these “Resurrection People” that the author speaks of are, they are full of joy, even in the midst of the struggle.

Happiness is when we feel good about doing something, or when someone praises us.  Growing up I remember there used to be little cartoon images that would say “Happiness is…” and it would say something like “a flower,” “a hug,” or other things that do bring a moment of happiness.  Happiness is good and we should strive to find happiness in our lives. But happiness can turn to sadness when the flower dies, or the friend who gave us the hug leaves.  What we really need to search for is true joy.  Joy is connection with God. As my connection with God deepens and my prayer life grows I find great joy even in the midst of struggle.  It doesn’t take the struggle away, but knowing that God is with me through the struggle is comforting and gives me the strength I need to hope and have faith that good will come, that the spring will follow the winter!

This week we go into Lent.  Lent is typically a time of fasting, praying and almsgiving.  People see this as a somber time.  Yet when we enter Lent with the intention of finding joy in all things – joy in our fasting, joy in our prayers, and joy in our giving – we can, and will, have a greater experience God! We find the more, the greater yes and the next right step! We meet the risen Jesus who walks with his disciples on the road to Emmaus, whose words and actions create a burning within their hearts.

May we all grow in relationship with Jesus the Lord and find the joy that burns within our hearts!

Patty Mayer, Director of Adult Faith Formation

My reflections based on the book: “Busy Lives & Restless Souls: How Prayer Can Help You Find the Missing Peace in Your Life” by Becky Eldredge given out to OLIH parishioners at Christmas 2018