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After the 8:00 pm Mass, I went downstairs to join the fellows at the Super Bowl party. The atmosphere was jovial and energetic with lots of laughter and high-fives. The reason for such a festive mood was because the Seattle Seahawks were one or two plays away from defeating the Patriots. As you could guess, the guys in the room were not from Boston, and they were tired of the Patriots winning all of the time. They were likewise sick of Tom “Isn’t-he-so-wonderful” Brady; sick of Belichick’s annual smile holding the Lombardi trophy. As you probably remember, the Seahawks threw an interception and the Patriots won that game in the final seconds. Just one flick of the wrist and the entire mood of the room changed. The party was over. No more laughter, high-fives, or pats on the back. It was as if everyone was in a dark place. I leaned over to the guy sitting next to me and advised him, “If you want to be happy and never be sick of losing, just join us. We Patriot fans are always happy.” He humorously replied, “Never.”

I say this because when you are in a dark place it will not be long before God comes to take you back into the light.

The Northern Kingdom hated King David. They said he would never be their king. Then one day one of the heroes of the North was killed and the North found themselves in a dark place. David the king joined them in their sorrow. He wept tears and showed them compassion for their loss. When they saw David’s sincerity, tears, and compassion they knew they had found their next king. That was the type of person they needed. When they joined David, they never got tired of the victories, the prosperous times, and the blessings from God.

Two of Jesus’ disciples found themselves in a very dark place. They thought that Jesus would have been the one to fulfill the prophets’ words, but he was defeated on the Cross by the enemies. They decided to leave behind the hope, but before they left town, they were given a report that someone had visited the tomb and found it empty. Then, two angels appeared, proclaiming that Jesus has risen from the dead.

That is so odd. You would think that with such a report that they would have wanted to hang around a bit longer. You would think that instead of walking seven miles to the next town, they would have walked a few blocks away to check out the tomb. Who knows, perhaps they would have even seen the angels there. But no. They threw in the towel because they had found themselves a very dark place. Despite the despair, there is a happy ending. That is because Jesus joined them.

We all know that life can have ups and downs. The downs come so fast without any warning: a flick of the wrist, a visit to the doctor, turning on the news, handing a paper to your professor, a text, or answering the door. The next time you suddenly find yourself in a dark place, picture someone next to you who leans over to say: “If you want to always be happy, if you never want to get sick of forgiveness, never tire of mercy, never wanting for help, enjoying victory, then join me. Join me.

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