Father Stefan reflects on Pope Francis ‘Joy of the Gospel’ A Joy, Ever New A Joy which is shared

Pope Francis first words in ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ are exciting, ” 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 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….I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this 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 unfailing each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since ‘no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord.’ The Lord doesn’t disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms. Now is the time to say to Jesus: ‘Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again.”

The Christian is a person filled with Joy. We have Joy when Jesus is the center of our life, and we think of others before ourselves. Jesus came to give us the fullness of life. Jesus says, “I came that you might have life and have it the full.” 

Even if we have a personal encounter with Jesus. We need to renew that encounter with Jesus daily. Jesus let me experience your presence today. Let me know that you are holding my hand. Jesus wants to have a friendship with you. When we go to spend time with Jesus in adoration, He is there waiting for you. When you don’t come He misses you. His arms are out stretched wanting to embrace you. 

Jesus is faithful. Even if we have ‘let ourselves be deceived; in a thousand way and shunned your love.’ If we say to Jesus, “Jesus here I am, I am sorry for my sins, come into my life.” Jesus jumps, no He runs to you and puts His Arms around you and says, “Welcome Home My Child I missed You, I missed you because I Love You.”

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