Dear Friends: Over the past three evenings, I selected excerpts from areas of the papal exhortation that appeared interesting to me and which I felt would most likely interest you as well. However, after some thought, it seems more beneficial to proceed from the beginning of the exhortation and work our way through the entire document over the next few months.
It is my hope that our exploration of this beautiful and powerful document will provide spiritual benefits to us as individuals, to our faith communities and to the secular world searching for answers to life’s challenges.
I invite you to join in the conversation. Remember to enter the conversation, you simply need to enter your email address at the top right side of the homepage and “gusto” you are plugged in.
TODAYS EXCERPT IS THE OPENING PARAGRAPH #1
“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 his joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.”
If I can add my observation, I am encouraged by this statement because the pope is saying that a new moment is being presented to us and to the Church. This new moment is “marked by joy” in evangelization. Amazing!!! The pope is asking us to enter into the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus with a spirit of “joy”. Our evangelization is not another thing to do or a chore to be embarked upon in our Christian journey. NO!!! Quite the opposite. If we enter this new moment with a spirit of joyfulness, the Spirit can increase in us and others the joy of the Lord and conversion to Jesus.
Love to hear from you. God Bless, Dr. Nick