When is the last time you remember being wide-eyed with wonder or awe or excitement? When did you last experience overwhelming joy? When did you last just burst out in happy laughter? Of course, strong emotions like these are made more intense because of their rarity and because they pop up unexpectedly, hauling us up and out from our day-to-day doldrums to the plane of sheer pleasure. If we’re honest, we miss those more frequent delights of childhood, those batches of homemade modeling clay at our bedside after a nap, the thrill of birthday presents, and Christmas presents (under that tree!), and for-no-reason presents, the fresh-from-the-oven after-school sweet something, accompanied by a big glass of milk, the mysterious bag of Friday treats (usually comic books, ice cream or some kind of candy) dropped off by doting Uncle Lloyd on his way home from work.
Children live in the constant expectancy of the next out of the ordinary event, eyes shining, mouth in a perfectly formed ‘O’, often trembling or shivering or dancing with all the pent-up giggle-wiggles. It brings a smile to the most jaundiced of us to watch their spontaneous reactions, their innocent, unfeigned delight. That’s probably the reaction Jesus was hoping for each time he spoke to his disciples of the Kingdom, of his Father, of their intimate partnership with him, their oneness with him – and with one another! Even now, reading that last sentence, do you get chills, does your heart race, do your palms get sweaty, thinking of how that is still true for us, today, in the year 2021? Does Jesus’ Resurrection make us want to dance, compose music, write a poem, tell everybody, at the top of our voices, “Jesus is alive!”? Would Jesus think that was cool if we did? I wonder if he is waiting for us to abandon our same-old-same-old routines and come to his anything-but-boring party. And bring a friend. PD