Are you happy? Pause. I am not unhappy. Yeah, but maybe things can be a bit better. But are you sad? No, not really. Happy or sad, our life is constantly spent between these two stools falling between past and future but seldom sitting in the present.

Often in the pursuit of happiness we blind ourselves to the present moment. If we are not really sad at this moment, can we without pausing appreciate that we are happy?

We are fretting about the future fearing that we will not be happy. We regret the past; mistakes haunting us ghosting our present. Happy the man who lives in this present. Because only in the present moment can we actually count our blessings in life.

It is also only in the present that we can experience the touch and love of God. Only in the present that we will know that this God is real. When we begin to feel God with us every moment in life, then we will always be happy.

The presence of God leads us into gratitude. Are you happy? Look at all the blessings in life that have led us out of our past. Life could have been worse. If ‘I’ am not sad or unhappy, then ‘I’ must be happy. Life is full of ups and downs and ‘I’ have managed this far with God’s constant presence. Being grateful help ‘me’ see it.

Life for many too is a constant stream of issues, problems and challenges. Life is perpetually crawling on the downside. Are we happy or sad? We are sad about the events but in truth we do not live every present moment in sadness. These despairs hurt us deeply but the constant presence of God want to touch us with consolation and hope. And yes at times we can’t be reached as we are disappointed and angry with hope. But this hope will always remain for us; it can never die.

“Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord”. (Today’s Response)

We must become poor, not necessarily materially, but poor in spirit. We must live life as a series of moments trusting God whilst being acutely aware of his presence. Gratefulness help us to be more dependent on him. This is what it means to be poor in spirit.

“How happy are you who are poor: yours is the kingdom of God” (Gospel).

The pursuit of worldly happiness is like a dog chasing its own tail. It will always be something in the future. Chasing it is futile and the first reading tells us:

“A curse on the man who puts his trust in man. If good comes, he has no eyes for it. A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord; it has no worries in a year of drought and never ceases to bear fruit”.

Live the present. Be happy. We already are.

bar stools

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time