Hope all's well and that you had a good weekend.
The list of titles of self help books on happiness is almost endless. '15 minutes to happiness', 'The art of happiness', 'How to do everything and be happy' 'Happiness for dummies' and the list goes on.
In the beatitudes (today's gospel) each one begins with Christ saying, 'Happy those....or Happy are...'
We have heard this gospel so many times before, but if you think about it, they're strange sayings.
How can you be happy in times of sorrow? If you're being persecuted, how on earth can you possibly be happy?
This is very different from what the world says makes you happy. Get yourself the latest all singing all dancing paper thin mobile phone and you'll be happy the ad folk tell us. Or the latest supersize TV that's bigger than your wall.
What was it Dolly Parton said? 'Whoever said that money can't buy you happiness doesn't know where to shop'
Seriously, what Christ is telling us in the beatitudes is that true happiness ultimately comes from relying on God.
Yes, we can't survive in life without material things, a roof over our heads, money in our pocket to make ends meet, and it makes the world go round, but real happiness, inner peace, contentment above all ultimately come from relying on God.
Material things don't last, God does. He is without end. We are to rely every day on God who never fails.
Had a read through yet the Bishops' Pastoral letter and the guidelines re reopening of churches? They cover every issue, including the compulsory wearing of facemarks, how to enter and leave the church, distancing, receiving communion, baptisms, weddings and funerals.
Have a safe and happy Monday