Father Stefan reflects on 3rd part of Bishop Loverde Letter, “Now Go”

Bishop Loverde writes, “Every mass ends with the words of dismissal. The words are a commissioning.” We are to go out and announce the Good News. 

Joy is at the heart of the Gospel. Pope Francis began his letter, ‘The Joy of the Gospel ‘ with these words, “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. I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy.”

Bishop Loverde writes, “happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life,” to paraphrase Aristotle, “the whole aim and end of human existence.” St Thomas Aquinas wrote that man cannot live without joy. If we do not have the spiritual joy that only God can give we will look for it in the false joys of this world. A faith that is only about following the rules cannot produce joy. 

The fruit of the Spirit is joy. One author said, “the truest sign of God presence is joy. 

We are told to go into the mission territory of the diocese of Arlington. We must be like Mary. When Mary first heard the Good News she went with haste to visit Elizabeth. On hearing the Good News Elizabeth said, “for behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.”

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