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Make Us THAT Happy!

You must love the Lord your God ... you must love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37,38) Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

A recently married man received a letter and some photographs from an old friend. Among the photographs was a picture of a beautiful patio deck the friend had made with his own hands.

Impressed with his friend’s skills, the man began to feel inadequate since he knew he was “all thumbs” when it came to working with tools. Consequently, when he showed the picture to his wife, he asked, rather dejectedly, “But what do I make?” And without missing a beat, his wife answered, “You make me happy!”

With a very different take on happiness and marriage, a comedian quipped, “I didn't know what happiness was until I got married -- but then it was too late.” -1

In a cartoon from New Yorker magazine, a married couple are pictured, each seated in a comfortable chair, holding a drink. On the oval rug at their feet is the family dog, intently engaged in the business of chewing on a stick. Gazing at the pup, the wife wistfully says to her husband, "Ralph, make me THAT happy" (with the word THAT, underscored).

You can relate. We can all relate. Sometimes it does seem like our dogs (and for that matter, our cats) have it better than we do. No responsibilities. Nothing to do but eat, sleep and chew on the furniture. On those "dog days," when things don't seem to be going our way, we may jokingly say, "if only I could trade places with old Max I'd be much better off!" And as absurd as that seems, the real problem for the wife in that cartoon is that she wants her husband to wave some sort of magic wand and make her feel the kind of happiness and contentment she is trying to project onto the family pet. Now don't get me wrong -- it is in our relationships with others, especially our significant others that we fully develop into the kind of persons God intended us to be. As the psychologist Carl Jung wrote, "The unrelated human being lacks wholeness." Jung is asserting that wholeness only comes through relationship with another. However, [...]

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Stories you can use...

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Predictions, Incompetence, Weather

“Remember, my dear friends, what the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ told you to expect” (Jude 1:17). A TV weather reporter had been so consistently wrong with his predictions that the station was flooded with letters demanding that he be replaced. Consequently, he applied for a job in another region of the country. “Why did you leave your last job?” the interviewer asked. “The climate didn’t agree with me,” said the weather reporter.

Christmas

A few days before Christmas, a five-year-old boy went with his mother to a big shopping mall. Their first stop was the toy department at Macy’s and soon the child was propped on Santa’s lap. “What do you want for Christmas?” Santa asked. “Better write it down” said the lad. “Trust me,” Santa replied, “my memory never fails.” Whereupon the little boy recited his list of wants. Later, mother and son went to the toy department of another big store in the mall. And again, the lad was propped on Santa’s lap. “What do you want for christmas?” Santa asked. Hearing this, the lad jumped off Santa’s lap, and said dejectedly: “I knew he’d forget!”

Christmas

It was the day before Christmas and little Bobby was in his room trying to be good. He was being so quiet that his mother called into him, “Bobby, what are you doing in your room?” “Nothing,” Bobby replied, “with you and God and Santa Claus watching me all the time, I can’t do anything.”

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