Part II: The Delightful and Comforting Joy of Evangelizing
In the second part of his exhortation on "The Joy of the Gospel," Pope Francis focuses on the profound joy it is to share the Gospel. All of us are called to experience the joy of knowing God's love for us and then to share that joy with others. It is not a burden, but an extremely rewarding mission.
Pope Francis says it so simply:
When we give ourselves to this service, we find that it is deeply rewarding::
He says we shouldn't look like we've "just come back from a funeral." Pope Francis refers to what Pope Paul VI said in his exhortation on evangelization, in 1978, about the spirit of our sharing the good news:
The Holy Father writes about an "eternal newness" to the Gospel, which keeps it fresh and continually renews us:
In the midst of the hard work involved in sharing the Gospel, Pope Francis reminds us that it is God who does the work, takes the initiative and provides the grace for what we do.
The Holy Father tells us that source of our continuing ability to share the good news is our our memory of God's saving deeds. This remembering nourishes us and gives us life.
This second, introductory, part of the exhortation encourages us to enter into the fulfilling experience of remembering the story of God's love for us. Isaiah's promises are fulfilled and all people have reason for hope. In Jesus, we have the forgiveness of our sins and the presence of our God with us, preparing the way for eternal happiness. These days, we let this joy grow in us. We let it shine light into our darkness and struggle. We let it come out in the freedom with which we live each day with greater peace. And, we let ourselves become sharers of this good news by how we love and reach out to others.
May our Lord keep opening our hearts to hear the depth of this exhortation, for our renewal, and for the transformation of our world..
Part I | Part III
The full text of Pope Francis' Exhortation, where it can also be downloaded in PDF form
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