A drama teacher was instructing his students about acting. He was trying to get them to understand that they convey the message not only with their words but even more so with their faces. He asked them all to act out different scenes and instructed them to project the meaning with their faces.

He then gave them two scenes: Heaven and Hell. He explained that their faces should very clearly convey the differences.

The students looked a little confused, so the teacher said: “When you are talking about Heaven, your faces should light up, your eyes should sparkle and look upwards, and your smile should radiate joy. People should be able to see heaven on your face.”

“Then when you are talking about Hell, well… your normal faces will do.”

Each of the readings on this Gaudete Sunday invites us to “Rejoice”:

I rejoice heartily in the LORD, in my God is the joy of my soul;
My soul rejoices in my God.
Rejoice always.

Which story are you telling with your face?

The reality is that sometimes we walk around as if we are not living with this joyful anticipation. Our faces often portray Hell.

Our faces should radiate this joy and this reality that we await the Good News. This Gaudete Sunday we can rejoice because we know the end of the story IS good news. Today, our normal faces won’t do. People should be able to see heaven on our faces!


Fr. Michael Denk is an international speaker and author.  He is the Author of Pray40Days: The Personal Relationship With God You’ve Always Wanted and founder of The Prodigal Father Productions, a non-profit that provides programming for individuals and institutions to teach people how to pray.  Many free resources, including Christmas gifts, can be found on his website: TheProdigalFather.org

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