You can attract more bees with honey than vinegar, so goes the saying, I think. A similar image can be made to spreading the gospel, attracting people to become dis jokes of Jesus: you attract more people to Christ by JOY than by a negative attitude. How many of us walk around with JOY in our hearts, something that can happen even when things aren't going so well. People were drawn to Jesus by His JOY, but others were repelled due to their jealousy of His ability to attract so many to the gospel.
Joy is infectious, it spreads like a virus that builds up life and the immunity to pessimism. I met a man on the street yesterday during a walk trying to prepare for tomorrow's homily. His name was IKE, and his JOY was palpable. After exchanging names we both just laughed, smiled and wished each other a beautiful day. A chance encounter.... maybe by God’s design.
Today is a Feast of St. Joseph, patron of workers and employment. It is so sad that a huge majority of people dislike their jobs or careers. No wonder there is so little JOY in the world and in our church, with so many people unhappy in their jobs, which make up most of their lives. It’s not about the salary, for there are countless people making lots of money but have no JOY.
My encounter in the street with Ike reminded me that the source of my JOY was an encounter, a human encounter, between strangers. Any job can be a means for encountering other people, caring, if even for a brief moment. Joy erupts on its own!!!! The key is not to lose the humanity in one’s career and every career has a human dimension. Unfortunately, it usually gets lost.