Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Gospel Thought Today: Accentuate the Positive

Negativity abounds every time I turn the TV on. It's one of the reasons I rarely watch the news. Now if I were the owner of a television station with news telecasts, here is what I would make mandatory: for every negative piece of news, there was positive to offset it. Think about how that could affect people. Or better yet, MORE positive than negative? There are countless compassionate people making this world a better place, striving to bring hope when hope can be hard to find. There is a song by the beloved Ella Fitzgerald called "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive" which sums up what we as Christians should be showing the world. Here are some of the lyrics, followed by a YouTube video of Ella singing this uplifting song:

You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

You've got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium
Liable to walk upon the scene

To illustrate his last remark
Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do
Just when everything looked so dark

Man, they said we better, accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
No, do not mess with Mister In-Between
Do you hear me?

Oh, listen to me children and-a you will hear
About the elininatin' of the negative
And the accent on the positive
And gather 'round me children if you're willin'
And sit tight while I start reviewing'

Today's Gospel (Luke 10:21-24) reminds us of the graces given to followers of Christ:

Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.  For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”

In Anne a lay apostle's book Whispers From the Cross, she directs us to focus on the positive:

"If the world is facing a difficult time, and it seems that we are, then we will need to work very hard to understand God’s power and stop talking about darkness. Is the darkness there? Of course. Only a spiritually blind man would deny this. But we sometimes add to the darkness instead of holding up the light. We can be guilty of doing this by talking incessantly of the darkness with dire threats of impending doom. In most cases, we are speculating. Perhaps we should speculate on how God can rescue us and posit those theories instead of hypothesizing how the enemy will play with us next. Perhaps we will speculate on how the Church will lead us with strength and courage instead of how we will be overcome. Perhaps we could try an exercise and guess how good men will become great men through challenges instead of guessing how men of apparent lesser good will become evil through temptation. May the Lord have mercy on us for being so pessimistic about God’s world and may the Lord enlighten us as to how we bring unity to God’s Church and not division. If we identify that unity is desirable, and indeed necessary for the advancement of the renewal, then we will make a decision to participate in the acquisition of this unity. Jesus loves us so much. He has such tremendous hope placed in each one of us and in each one of the roles we have been assigned."

Lay apostles, what are you focused on today? Life is full of disappointments if you continue to dwell on them. So, let's accentuate the positive . . . stepping away from all the negativity and opening our eyes to the beauty and graces provided by Our Father in heaven. At the least, with every negative thought, quickly think of a positive one to offset it! I'll be working on that right along with you!

Thank you, Lord, for shaking the negative out of my head with Your beautiful words in the Gospel and in Anne's books. Continue to remind me to focus on the positive!

God bless,

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