The first time I googled John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, my first reaction was, “Ooops, it will take me a hundred years to read and truly understand this.” So, I started to look for something simpler, from Christopher West’s to Jason Evert’s to other TOB writers. Then someone recommended the book “Free Love, True Love” by this Filipino priest, Fr. Joel Jason.
The book was engaging, simple, and easy to understand. It made me realize the power of God’s amazing, real Love. True Love. From simple explanations to a variety of examples (and even jokes), I got to take JPII’s teaching to heart. And somehow, I wondered will the author write another book?
Fr. Joel also writes and shares his Sunday homilies on his Facebook page. He writes practical homilies that can lead you to reflect on life and the simple things that give you joy. So, I was kinda grateful when he agreed to take time from his busy schedules and share a little chat with me.
Sky: What makes you feel like a kid?
FJJ: I feel like a kid when I’m with young people. In fact, I don’t feel my age, since I am mostly with the young people I teach and form and journey with in the seminary.
Sky: What’s the happiest place on earth?
FJJ: Hmmm.. The happiest place on earth is where my friends and loved ones surround me.
Sky: What are your simple joys?
FJJ: Simple joys [are] reading a good, engaging book, a good cup of coffee, a hot plate of pasta and freshly baked pizza, a game of basketball or tennis, jamming with friends on the guitar and most of all, being still before Jesus in the tabernacle.
My father died when I was in my first year in the seminary. My father didn’t have lot to leave behind when he passed on to eternal life. But what he gave me I treasure. I still use it now as a priest. When I entered the seminary at the age of 16, my father gave me his Bible. I knew it was his Bible because it was “dirty” – the pages were worn out, it had highlights, it had marks on it and even some scribbled little notes. You can tell he read it. You can tell he prayed with it. Jesus was not only ink for him. Jesus was a voice speaking to him in the pages of His Scriptures.
– Fr. Joel Jason (during his homily on Good Shepherd Sunday)