Luke’s Gospel ends on a very upbeat note. The apostle return to the city filled with joy. Yes, their beloved friend has departed, but promises to return. “Great joy” is very difficult to hide; people can see it and hear it. “They were in the Temple praising God continuously.”

At the very outset, these Christians were causing problems for the Roman occupation and for the Jewish religious leaders. They are doing exactly what Jesus did. Their “impact on society”, to quote from Pope Francis’ exhortation “Evangelii Guadium” is to restore joy and praising God. These remain the tasks of the Church today.

Too often, religion and faith are considered serious and glum things with a long and sad face filled with holy fear. Imagine a Catholic Church ringing with “great joy.” Now there’s a thought!

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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