That is What Life is All About!

  A number of years ago, a young college student was working as an intern at his college's Museum of Natural History. One day while working at the cash register in the gift shop, he saw an elderly couple come in with a little girl in a wheelchair. As he looked more closely, he saw that she was kind of perched on her chair. The student realized that she had no arms or legs, just a head, neck and torso. She was wearing a little white dress with red polka dots.

  As the couple wheeled her up to the checkout counter, he turned his head toward the girl and gave her a wink. Meanwhile, he took the money from her grandparents and looked back at the girl, who was giving him the cutest and the largest smile he had ever seen. All of a sudden, her handicap was gone, and all that he saw was this beautiful girl. Her smile just melted him and almost instantly gave him a completely new sense of what life is all about. She took him from being an unhappy college student and brought him into her world, a world of smiles, love and warmth. With the lighting of the rose candle, the third on the Advent wreath among the purple candles, we are reminded that we are called to live with joy in our world of sorrows and pain.

  Some might think about only the dark parts of their lives and are habituated to see only the dark parts in others' too. Yet in everyone's life there are some bright parts. Just like the college student became focused on the cute smile of that handicapped girl and forgot his own unhappy life as a college student, we need to focus on the good things that we have and do even amidst the struggles and hardships of our own church parish life and our own lives.

  Let us believe in our hearts the Gospel message about Jesus given by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Will we allow the Holy Spirit, through the Gospel, to create in us this Advent a metanoia - a radical change of our thinking, loving, living, and our very being in relation to God, other people, and ourselves? This will reshape and clarify our purpose for living in this world as he intended when he created us.
That is what life is all about! Smile a while and make others smile!

In the Service of the Lord,
  Fr Thainese Alphonse


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St. Bernadette Catholic Church