The Path of Life

The Path of Life

Monday, October 24, 2011

Joking Jesus?

A fictional scene from Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" (2004)
in which Jesus is amused by his mother Mary's reaction to a table he's built.

An amusing, thought-provoking little piece today on The Wall Street Journal's online magazine Speakeasy by Fr. James Martin, S.J., titled "Jesus of Nazareth, Stand-Up Comic?" It's not irreverent, trust me. Martin, who has just published a new book titled Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life, offers a brief and honest commentary on Jesus as a "Man of Joy."

He takes a look at some of Jesus' parables, sayings, and playful comments that would have been appreciated as hilarious or full of good humor in his time, but which are lost on us today. Instead, we mistakenly tend to think of Jesus as always being gloomy, downcast, or deadly serious.

"Christians believe that Jesus was 'fully human and fully divine.' And being fully human means having a sense of humor," writes Martin. His mission was serious, but Jesus employed humor at times to drive his point home. And he loved a good joke as much as anyone else.

I agree. It's a wonderful reminder for all of us that one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is JOY. Christians should be serious but cheerful--why else would anyone be interested in becoming one?

Click here to read Martin's entire piece.

Incidentally, he has also authored a Catholic Perspectives CareNote for Abbey Press' Path of Life Publications on the same subject. It it titled: Rejoice! Finding Joy, Humor in the Spiritual Life. Highly recommended! Click here for more information.

A most blessed and joyful day to all!

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