Commentary on the Gospel of
That’s a hard thing to do but often misunderstood, I think. Earlier in my life I used to think of it as anything was pleasurable in an earthly sense was by its very nature in opposition to following Christ. If that immature understanding were true, Christianity would be a gloomy religion indeed.
It’s undoubtedly true that there are many things that one can do on earth that are temporarily pleasurable and inconsistent with following Christ. We’re all human and at sometimes fall into them, but one of the many beauties of Christianity is that Christ forgives us if we ask and sincerely try to do better.
So today’s readings aren’t a call to live a joyless life on Earth. Rather they are a call to find the right kind of joy on Earth. The joy of helping others, the joy of maintaining the best relationships possible even with people whom we find it a challenge to deal with, the joy of reflecting on the beauty of God’s creation, and so on.
By doing so, hopefully we can earn eternal joy.