St. Padre Pio once said, “Serve the Lord with laughter”. Kind of an odd way to serve God when you think about it. We always hear about how we can serve the Lord by doing all these pius activities such as reading scripture, doings works of mercy, praying the rosary, etc. but we never hear about serving the Lord with laughter. It almost sounds too easy. I mean, who doesn’t love to laugh? (Scrooge. Scrooge doesn’t love to laugh). This makes using laughter as a tool of evangelization all the more plausible, considering the fact that everyone can relate to enjoying laughter. Just by looking at human nature, people won’t be attracted to others who claim to serve God while remaining gloomy in appearance. As Christians, we have more reason than anybody to rejoice: we have the joy of knowing that Christ is risen. If we love our faith, it is only natural that joy will flow forth from our faith. Humor is simply one of the forms our joy may take.
Despite this, there are still those who find any joke pertaining to the Faith as disrespectful. These people seem to presume that if you make a joke about your faith, you think your faith is a joke. Don’t get me wrong, this may prove to be the case for a lot of scenarios, but it is by no means a be-all and end-all rule of thumb. In the Gospel of John, Jesus calls his disciples his friends. Unless your friendship circle is full of a bunch of Squidwards, chances are you can joke around with them. Therefore, it only stands to reason that we can joke around with Jesus, who is our greatest friend. Just as with our friends that aren’t, you know, apart of the Trinity, humor can be a key element in strengthening our relationships. In fact, a relationship that is devoid of humor can be a sign of insecurity. The great Catholic writer GK Chesterton once said, “it is the test of good religion whether you can joke about it”.
However, don’t forget that Jesus is more than just one of the boys that you can get together on Saturday with, He is also the Lord that you worship on Sunday. The friendship aspect of your relationship should remain balanced, as all aspects should be (pretty sure I just accidentally quoted Thanos). Jesus is more than just your closest friend, He is also your Savior and this should be kept in mind with everything you do. This warrants a devotion to him that is deeper than just a friendly relationship. There is a time to joke around and there is a time to be serious. Failure to recognize either of these aspects could lead to an incomplete faith (especially if you don’t realize when to be serious). Just as there is a line you don’t cross when joking around with your friends, there is also a line you should be wary about with Jesus. There can sometimes be a fine line between playful joking and mocking, which is why discernment is crucial to your relationship with God.
God made everyone unique and gave everyone their own gifts to glorify Him. A quick look at the saints can exemplify that. St. Jerome was remembered for the great work he did in translating scripture, but he also had a bad temper. A slow temper was not a gift that he received, but he is still a saint because he made use of the gifts he was given. If God has given you the gift of humor, use it for his glorification. Don’t be the servant who was only given one talent and buried it (Matthew 25:14-30). Use the gifts God has given you and become the person He created you to be. Become a saint.
I am praying for you all and God bless!