In the foyer of a church, a young boy was looking at a plaque with the names of men and women who had died in various wars. He asked the pastor, "Who are these people?" The pastor said, "Those are members from our church who died in the service." The boy asked, "The early service or the second service?"
What’s wrong, Bubba?” asked the pastor. “I need you to pray for my hearing,” said Bubba. The pastor put his hands on Bubba’s ears and prayed. When he was done, he asked, “So how’s your hearing?” “I don’t know,” said Bubba. “It isn’t until next Tuesday.”
There is so much “bad news” going on, it seems important every once in a while to remember the joy in life and the importance of having a sense of humor. It is important to be able to laugh at one’s self in order to keep perspective. Medieval royal courts used to keep a jester on hand just for that purpose. Who doesn’t enjoy a clown every once in a while, and even take some wisdom from them?
Isn’t a good laugh somehow healing?
Pope Francis is big on joy. His first encyclical to us was entitled “The Joy of the Gospel.’ He has often encouraged the faithful to have a sense of humor. He has been reported to pray every day a prayer attributed to St. Thomas More:
Grant me, O Lord, good digestion, and also something to digest. Grant me a healthy body, and the necessary good humor to maintain it. Grant me a simple soul that knows to treasure all that is good and that doesn’t frighten easily at the sight of evil, but rather finds the means to put things back in their place. Give me a soul that knows not boredom, grumblings, sighs and laments, nor excess of stress, because of that obstructing thing called “I.” Grant me, O Lord, a sense of good humor. Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke to discover in life a bit of joy, and to be able to share it with others.”
Laugh a little. Tell a joke. Touch into the Joy of the Gospel! There IS some Good News!