Father Stefan reflects on Pope Francis ‘Joy of the Gospel; a Joy Ever New, a Joy Which is Shared Second Part

Pope Francis writes, “God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking His Mercy. Christ, who told us to forgive one another ‘seventy times seven’ (Mat 18:22) has given us an example: He has forgiven is seventy times seven… With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift our heads and start anew.” 

St Claude de la Colombiere was asked by the bishop to investigate a nun to see if she was truly having visions of Jesus and the Sacred Heart. Claude asked the nun the next time you see Jesus ask him this question, “What was the last sin that I confessed?” Some time later Claude asked the nun, “What did Jesus say?” She responded, “Jesus said I don’t know.” It was this answer that convinced Saint Claude de la Colombiere that Margaret Mary was having true visions of Jesus and the His Sacred Heart. 

When we go to confession Jesus not only forgives our sins he forget our sins. 

“The Gospel, radiant with the glory of Christ’s cross, constantly invites us to rejoice. A few example will suffice, ‘Rejoice!’ is the angels’s greeting to Mary. (Lk 1;28) Mary’s visit to Elizabeth makes John leap for joy in his mother’s womb. (Lk 1:41) In her song of praise, Mary proclaims: ‘My Spirit rejoices in God my savior.’ (Lk 1:47) When Jesus beings his ministry, John cries out, ‘For this reason, my joy has been fulfilled.’ (Jn 3:29) Jesus himself ‘rejoiced in the Holy Spirit’ (Lk 10:21) His message brings us joy: ‘I have said these thing to you, so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.'(Jn 15:11) 

The followers of Jesus were filled with Joy. “Whenever the disciples went, there was great joy’ (Acts 8:8) even amid persecution they continued to be ‘filled with joy.’ (Acts 15:52) I especially like this this line from Pope Francis, “There are Christians whose lives seem like Lent without Easter.”

One author was asked how come you no longer believe in Jesus. His answer was, “Christians no longer know how to sing.” What he meant is that there seemed to be little joy in the lives of Christians. 

The New Chapter of evangelization is meant to marked by Joy. Do we have Joy? Are we a people of Joy? Joy is the surest sign of the presence of God. Joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Where the Holy Spirit is present there is Joy.

Come Holy Spirit and fill us with JOY. 

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