Happy New Year! As we say good-bye to 2017 and hello to 2018 these are the words that we will use to greet one another. The big question is; will it be a Happy New Year? There are certainly many things happening in our world with politics, the environment, with war and terror, and with the great human need for all the people of the world to have clean water, adequate food, housing and medical care. When we consider all of these needs we may be inclined to say it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a Happy New Year. Yet, when we think about true happiness it is not something that comes from the outside.
Jesus gives us a clue about where true happiness comes from when he says that he has come to bring a peace that the world does not know. For the world, happiness is the absence of war, and an end to division and conflict of all kinds. We would be more inclined to say that we would be a happier people without all of the despair, which we see happening in our world. Though, I believe that many of us, including myself, would soon find something to be unhappy about. It was Abraham Lincoln who said, “People are about as happy as they make themselves out to be.” What Mr. Lincoln is saying here is that happiness is an inside job.
Happiness is not something that comes from the outside, happiness comes from within ourselves. What we have to do is choose to be happy, even to be joyous, and peace filled people. I believe that when we choose to do this, not only will we be happier in our personal lives, but the world around us will be happier too because we will be bringing our happiness to it. So wish one another a Happy New Year, and as you are doing this allow that happiness to come from within and believe that you can be truly happy.
Happy New Year, Fr. Carl