I'm reading an interesting book called The Joyful Christ by Cal Samra. It was published in 1985 and is a little dated, but still thought-provoking. It stresses the healing nature of humor. This morning I read a story that bears retelling about a priest in Central America who, during a homily at a mission Mass asked a little girl, "Who is God." Here's how Samra describes what followed:
Everyone was sure she would reply, "God is Love," because that was the theme of the mass. Instead, she surprised the congregation by saying, "God is joy."
"A profound insight," Father Alas said. "We must penetrate its meaning."
The seven-year-old girl continued, "Jesus was close to his disciples because they were his friends. When friends come together, especially to serve others, there is always great joy. So, God is joy. It is the same today."
"But what about Jesus on the cross?" Father Alas asked her.
"Oh yes, he had perfect joy then, because at that moment he was giving everything he was and had to those he loved. He had to be very happy at that moment."I think if she had been talking to Jesus, he would have looked at her with love and said, "You are not far from the kingdom." May we all have the wisdom of that little child!
"From the mouths of babes comes true wisdom."