On Thursday mornings, I’m the lector at 7:00 Mass, so I have to get up earlier than usual. In the winter, it’s hard to get out of that warm bed. But at this time of the year, no problem.
In his homily, our priest talked about making a choice in how you live your life. He said that you could go through life depressed, angry, bitter, judgemental, and a generally unpleasent person to be around. Or, you could approach your daily living positively, focusing on the goodness that surrounds you, whether that manifests in people, places or things. We can choose to see the good in people, or we can focus only on the not so good. I think its sometimes a lot harder to concentrate on positive thinking, but in the end, I can’t help but think that’s what God calls us to do.
I don’t mean by this that we mask or deny the problems and difficulties, but rather choose not to dwell on them.
A few years ago, I had the chance to take a group on a mission trip to Mexico. We were there for several days, and I had never seen poverty like that experienced by the people we met. The photo above was taken in a church in the middle of nowhere. It had been built a few years earlier, but the people had no money for windows. In fact, they lived in shacks surrounding the church.
They gathered each Sunday in a church with no doors, no windows, no heating or air conditioning. But it was one of the most joy-filled and beautiful Masses I had ever been to.
In their poverty, the Mexican people I met chose to look beyond their situation in life, and instead focused on the good they saw all around them. The people, especially the childen, were grateful that they had a church with a roof. The rest will come later, and they trusted in God’s providence to provide.
So, as you read this email, think about your approach to life. What do you choose to focus on? Do you dwell on the negative, or seek out the goodness in people and situations? What choice will make you a better, happier person? What will it be?