Father Stefan reflects on Pope Francis ‘Joy of the Gospel’ The Church Missionary Transformation

Pope Francis writes, “Evangelization takes place in obedience to the missionary mandate of Jesus: ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.’ The word of God constantly shows us how God challenges those who believe in him ‘to go forth.’ Abraham received the call to set out for a new land (Gen 12;1-3) Moses heard God’s call: ‘Go, I send you’ (Ex 3:10) and lead the people towards the promised land. (Ex 3;17) To Jeremiah,God says: ‘To all whom I send you, you shall go.’ (Jer 1:7) All of us are asked to obey his call to go forth from our own comfort zones in order to reach all the ‘peripheries’ in need of the light of the Gospel.”

Jesus says, “Just so I tell you, there will be more Joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Lk 15:7) Think of Jesus calling St Matthew. Matthew was a tax collector. He was a hated man because tax collectors pocketed some of the money they collected, and they were in in league with the roman authorities. Jews would have looked down at Matthew. But Jesus says to Matthew, “Follow me” and Matthew does follow Jesus. 

“The Gospel joy which enlivens the community of disciples is a missionary joy. The seventy-two disciples felt it as they returned from their mission. (Lk 10:17) Jesus felt it when he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and praised the Father for revealing himself to the poor and little ones. (Lk 10:21) This joy is a sign that the Gospel has been proclaimed and is bearing fruit.. an evangelizing community is filled with Joy; it knows how to rejoice always.” 

Why so many people are attracted to Pope Francis is that he is a man of Joy. He seems to have something that many people in our world lack. What will attract people to the Catholic Faith is Joy.  Are we a people of Joy? Jesus gives Joy, The Holy Spirit is the spirit of Joy,

I remember one time at a prayer meeting and the spirit of joy came down upon everyone. Some of the people felt the Holy Spirit moving in their hearts and they started to laugh. One of the ways to heal depression is to laugh. What we experienced at that prayer meeting can be summed up in this Psalm, “Those who sow in tears will be filled with laughter.” 

If you are a serious person, and you are reading this blog by yourself sing to yourself this children song.

“I got the Joy Joy Joy down in my heart where down in my heart. I got the Joy Joy Joy down in my heart to stay. I am so happy so very happy that I have the Love of Jesus in my Heart. I am so happy so very happy that I have the love of Jesus in my heart.”

Sing this song 3 times and each time sing louder and louder and clap your hands. Don’t worry no one is looking,

Repeat if necessary. And may the Spirit of Joy descend upon you. 



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