No Laughing Matter. Or, Is It?

23 Oct

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”
Audrey Hepburn

When I was young, we received a regular subscription to the Reader’s Digest.  I loved it for a couple of reasons.  First of all, I was — and am — an avid reader.  I would read through the entire magazine in a couple of days and then wait impatiently for the next month.

I always saved the condensed book for last.  And I always began my reading with the humor sections:  Humor in Uniform, Life in these United States, and Laughter, the Best Medicine.  I have always found humor to be a great way to live life.  As bizarre as it may sound, I try to wrap humor even into the funerals that I celebrate.  I find that if I can say a thing or two about the deceased that makes the people laugh, it breaks the ice for them and allows them to more fully immerse themselves in the Funeral Mass.

Humor is a great way to bring people together.  It is also important for ourselves.  We need to make sure that we do not take ourselves too seriously and that we are always ready and able to laugh at ourselves.  The person who does not have the ability to laugh at his or her mistakes is a very sorry person indeed.

There are those who often ask, “Did Jesus laugh?”  I can only assume that He did.  If you read the Gospels carefully, there are times that He is practically setting His followers up with some wonderful one liners.  There are other times that His use of stories must have been accompanied with a smile or a chuckle or even a full-out belly laugh.

Jesus gathered children around Himself.  When He did so, I am sure that He did not order them to be stern and straight-faced.  He must have laughed at their goofy expressions and their antics.  I’m sure He joined in them as well.  Laughing is a natural expression and Jesus was fully human.  Laughing is also a technique to break through the walls that some people construct in their lives.

When did we learn to take ourselves so seriously?  Why do we take ourselves so seriously?  If you want to avoid high blood pressure, ulcers, headaches, and a host of other ills, learn to laugh.  Laugh with others and do not be afraid to laugh at yourself.  When you have the courage to do so, you might even hear the Lord chuckling at you as well.

FAITH ACTION:  Find a reason to laugh at your problems today and feel the peace of God wash over you as you do.