“We forget that God’s primary goal is not changing our situations or relationships so that we can be happy, but changing us through our situations and relationships so that we will be holy.” ~ Paul David Tripp
God is not into our happiness. If He were, He would be that magic genie that so many people think that He is, that fairy godfather, that fulfiller of all wishes, et cetera. God’s job is not to make us happy. If it were, we would end up being quite miserable because many of us equate happiness with popularity or wealth or power or prestige. We would demand those things from God and find out that we were as miserable — if not more so — than before.
No. God is not into our happiness. He is into our holiness. Coincidentally, when we find the holiness to which we have been called, we generally find many other gifts as well: peace, love, fulfillment, and, yes, happiness. However, in order to find that happiness, we must be willing to embrace the will of God for our lives.
The Gospel at this morning’s Mass is from John and is the resurrection account of Jesus seeing His followers on the boats after a hard night’s fishing. That was after Peter had made a statement, “I’m going fishing” and they all went with him. That statement is more than just about fishing. Peter was, in many ways, stating that he was going back to his old way of life, the life that he knew before Jesus had entered his life. This was, in many ways, giving up any kind of hope.
Jesus saw Peter and the others and recreated His first encounter with them. He again instructed them to throw their nets overboard and they caught a huge number of fish. Peter and the others realized that it was, indeed, Jesus and went to Him.
Once Jesus enters our lives, there should be no reason that we would want to turn back to our old ways of life. That being said, we often do. We find Jesus’ invitation to be difficult. The demands may be too much for us. The lures of the world and the temptations of the devil may be too strong for us to fight.
We might drift off and attempt to embrace our old ways. But Jesus is always there, standing on the shore, looking on at us and inviting us to trust in Him once again. Jesus is standing by us this very moment beckoning us to follow Him. What is your response going to be?
Christ has risen as He said. Alleluia, Alleluia!
FAITH ACTION: Ask God to give you the grace that you need to accept His invitation to holiness.