Field of Dreams: if you build it, they will come!


The Joy of the Gospel
December 2, 2013, 10:06 am
Filed under: Devotional

I would like to start a series of posts inspired by Pope Francis’ recent Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, “The Joy of the Gospel”. This seems particularly appropriate for Advent, a season of joy and expectation, when we renew our longing for the coming of our Lord.

From the beginning, the Holy Father sets this tone; I highlight some important phrases.

The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.

The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless. That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ.

I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day.”

Resentment, anger and listlessness mark too many lives today- even Christian lives: it is surely time for Christians to wake up, to renew a living relationship with Jesus Christ, and to go out with confidence to bring Good News to the world!

(to be continued)

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