Joy is Only Born from an Encounter with Christ
Have you read Pope Francis’ new apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium”? In English, the title reads:”The Joy of the Gospel!” The exhortation serves to guide Catholics in living and applying the Church’s teachings, and in particular, focuses on the New Evangelization.
As we celebrate Advent’s joyful “Gaudete Sunday” this week, it seems fitting to meditate on the joy that comes from Christ and his Church.
The very first words of “Evangelii Gaudium” proclaim:
“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.”
In fact, our Holy Father reminds us that the joy of Christ differs from the happiness the world offers:
“Sometimes we are tempted to find excuses and complain, acting as if we could only be happy if a thousand conditions were met. To some extent this is because our “technological society has succeeded in multiplying occasions of pleasure, yet has found it very difficult to engender joy”. I can say that the most beautiful and natural expressions of joy which I have seen in my life were in poor people who had little to hold on to.
“I also think of the real joy shown by others who, even amid pressing professional obligations, were able to preserve, in detachment and simplicity, a heart full of faith. In their own way, all these instances of joy flow from the infinite love of God, who has revealed himself to us in Jesus Christ. I never tire of repeating those words of Benedict XVI which take us to the very heart of the Gospel: “Being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction”.”
In our Living Jesus Chat Room this Sunday, we will discuss these points:
- Why do you think Pope Francis chose to write this exhortation? Is there a certain threat or worry he might be addressing?
- Advent can be the perfect time for us to reach out and invite someone back to the Church. How can evangelization be a source of joy for us?
- Does the celebration of Christmas promote or fight materialism? How can we keep Christmas centered on Christ and his gift to us?
Sign up for our Chat Room
Come to our Living Jesus Chat Room, 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM Eastern Time U.S. this Sunday, DECEMBER 15th. Sign up here and get your own username, or just come on Sunday and sign in as a guest. Seats are limited so , come on time.