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Colleen DulleMay 23, 2024
Photo from Unsplash.

A Reflection for Thursday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Find today’s readings here.

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people of his own.

You know those people who exude a certain light? I’m sure you’ve met them before: People who have a deep joy that, no matter what happens, remains the bedrock of their character. They’re generally people who are good and who make you want to be better.

Today’s scripture readings challenge us to be those types of people: People who, at times, stick out from the world because they value something different, because their joy comes from a deep faith. These people are above the mentalities of greed and ambition that drive so many of us to seek power, wealth or praise, sometimes at the cost of our humility, compassion or care for others.

In his first papal document, Evangelii Gaudium, “The Joy of the Gospel,” Pope Francis laid out a vision for the evangelization that would become the defining priority of his pontificate: an evangelization based on joy. A Christian attracts people, the pope says, by living out a joy that is rooted in faith in the liberating message of the Gospel. Christians, he writes, “should appear as people who wish to share their joy, who point to a horizon of beauty and who invite others to a delicious banquet. It is not by proselytizing that the Church grows, but ‘by attraction.’”

I know this to be true from experience: I first really began to care about my faith and take it into my own hands, as my responsibility, when I was a teenager and saw one of the nuns at my school praying. I saw the absolute joy and serenity on her face and knew I wanted to experience it for myself. It was only after that that I started to pray, to develop my own relationship with God, to look for the source of her light and to find it for myself, too.

Spend an extra moment thinking of those whose light inspired your faith. Let that memory reignite your light and joy, especially if you’ve found they’ve grown dim over time. Try to share your light and joy today, like touching candle-wicks at the Easter vigil: “a fire into many flames divided, yet never dimmed by sharing of its light.”

More: Scripture

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