in wealthy cultures, like in north america or western europe, we have forgotten how to celebrate. we applaud, we cheer victors and boo losers. poor cultures don’t have much, yet they celebrate with all they got, winners and losers alike.
‘give us this day our daily bread / and forgive us our sins / as we forgive those who sin against us.’
celebration sings a song louder than that ‘greatest pain of human beings ,… separation and loneliness ,… the seeds of war,… a foretaste of death.’
laughter is a way of celebrating. ‘true belly laughs are important in community life. when a group laughs in this way, many pains are swept away.’ the human condition itself is laughable: ‘there is something funny about humanity. little as we are, poor as we are, we are called to be brothers and sisters of god. it seems so ludicrous and wonderful, so crazy and so ecstatic. everything seems upside down!’
of course we come together over food: ‘laughter is excellent for the digestion. serious discussions cause ulcers and other intestinal problems.’ you are what you eat, and how you eat.
our earthly celebrations are intimations of immortality. ‘of course our joy on earth is far from complete. but our celebrations are small signs of the eternal celebration, of the wedding feast to which we are all invited.’