EVANGELII GAUDIUM (Joy of the Gospel) OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
JOY OF THE GOSPEL REFLECTIONS
CHAPTER 1 (NOTE: Numbers before text refers to paragraphs in actual document)
1. The Joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus
2. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor.
3. I invite all Christians everywhere at this very moment to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ or at least an openness to letting him encounter them. 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.
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.
5. The Gospel radiant with the glory of Christ's cross, constantly invites us to rejoice. "I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete John 15:11
7. Being a Christan is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea; But the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.
10. Life is attained and matures in the measure that it is offered up in order to give life to others. May the world receive the Good News not from evangelizers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervor who have received the joy of Christ.
11. By His coming, Christ brought with him all newness. With this freshness he is always able to renew our lives and communities. Even if the Christan message has known periods of darkness and ecclesial weakness, it will never grow old. Every form of authentic evangelization is always new.
12. Jesus is the first and greatest evangelizer. In every activity of evangelization the primacy always belongs to God who has called us to cooperate with him and who leads us on by the power of his Spirit. The life of the Church should always reveal clearly that God takes the intiative, that he has loved us first. John 4:19
13. Jesus leaves us the Eucharist as the Church's daily rembrance of and deeper sharing in the event of his Passover. The believer is essentially one who remembers.
14. New Evangelization is addressed to all, the faithful, the baptized who have fallen away from their Baptism promises, and those who don't know Jesus Christ at all or out right reject him. Christians have a duty to proclaim the Gospel without excluding anyone.
15. "Just so, I tell you there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than niety nine righteous persons who need no repentance." Luke 15:7
19. 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 of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you". Matthew 28:19-20
21. "Let us go on to the next towns that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out." Mark 1:18 Once the seed has been sown in one place, Jesus does not stay behind to explain things or to perform more signs, the Spirit moves him to go forth to other towns.
23. The Joy of the Gospel is for all people no one can be excluded. That is what the angel proclaimed to the shepherds in Bethlehem. "Be not afraid for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people." Luke 2:10
24. An evangelizing community knows that the Lord has taken the intiative, he has loved us first. 1John 4:19
An evangelizing community gets involved by word and deed in people's daily lives, it bridges distances, it embraces human life and touches the suffering Christ in others. It stands by people at every step of the way no matter how difficult and lengthy it may be. The sower of seeds when he sees grain sprouting among weeds finds away to let the Word bear fruit however incomplete or imperfect it may be.
35, When we adopt a pastoral missionary style which would reach everyone without exception or exclusion the message has to concentrate on the essentials, on what is most beautiful, most grand, most appealing and at the same time most necessary. In this basic core what shines forth is the beauty of the saving love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ who died and rose from the dead.
39. When preaching is faithful to the Gospel, certain truths are evident. It is clear Christian morality is not just some list of sins and selfdenial. Before all else the Gospel invites us to respond to the God of love who saves us, to see God in others and to go forth and seek the good of others.
44. Everyone needs to be touched by the comfort and attraction of God's saving love, which is mysteriously at work in each person above and beyond their faults and failings.
49. If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ without a community of faith to support them and without meaning and a goal in life.
My hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us, "Give them something to eat". Mark 6:37
55. We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf Exodus 32:1-35 has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking any truly human purpose.
57. Not to share one's wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold but theirs.
58. Money must serve not rule. The Pope loves everyone the rich and poor alike but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all the rich must help, respect and promote the poor. I exhort you all to an ethical approach which favors all human beings.
64. We are living in an information driven society which bombards us indiscriminately with data all treated as being of equal importance and which leads to remarkable superficiality in the area of moral discernment.
66. In the case of the family, the weakening of these bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another; it is also the place where parents pass on their faith to their children.
79-82 Pastoral workers often fall prey to the times. They end up unhappy with who they are and what they do. They regret the freedom they give up and why they just can't be like everyone else. Even though they may know the doctrine they make decisions like attachment to financial security or desire for power and glory rather than giving their lives to mission. Let us not be robbed of the joy of mission.
Some fall into pastoral acedia or spiritual torpor (lethargy) by taking on unreasonable projects instead of what they reasonably can accomplish. Others just because they just can't wait, patience is not a virtue in this society of instant gratification.
85. While painfully aware of our own frailties, we have to march on without giving in, keeping in mind what the Lord said to St. Paul: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness 2 Cor. 12:9
92. We must not avoid others or exclude anyone from our mission. It is a fraternal love we seek, to see in every neighbor the sacred grandeur of God, tolerating the nuisances of life, opening the heart to divine love and seeking the happiness of others just as their heavenly Father does.
99. Let everyone admire how you care for one another. Jesus said, "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, If you have love for one another. John 13:35. Beware of temptation of jealousy. We are all in same boat and headed to same port. Let us ask for the grace to rejoice in gifts of each, which belong to all.
111. The Church is more than an organic hierarchal institution, first and foremost it is a people advancing on its pilgrim way toward God.
113. No one is saved by himself or herself, individually or by his or her own efforts. Jesus did not tell the apostles to form an exclusive and elite group. He told them to go and make disciples of all nations. Mt.28:19
114. The Church must be a place of mercy freely given where everyone can feel welcomed loved, forgiven, and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel.
118 We can not insist that every continent imitates the European mode of expressing their Christian faith. It is an indisputable fact that no single culture can exhaust the mystery of a redemption in Christ.
119. In all the baptized from first to last the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit is at work. All people of God have become missionaries. All of us are called to offer others an explicit witness to the saving love of the Lord who despite our imperfection offers us his closeness, his word his strength, and gives meaning to our lives.
141. One cannot but admire the resources that the Lord used to dialog with his people to reveal the mystery to all and to attract ordinary people. I believe the secret lies in the way Jesus looked at people, seeing beyond their weaknesses and failings. "Fear not little flock for its your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Lk12:32 The Lord truly enjoys talking to his people so the preacher should strive to communicate that same enjoyment to his listerners.
145-147. Preparation for preaching (homilies) needs a prolonged time for preparation, a time for study, prayer, and reflection. This humble awefilled veneration of the word is necessary less we distort it. Preparation requires thee Love of God and like every true disciple say, "Speak Lord for your servant is listening. ISam 3:9
150. Whoever wants to preach must first let the Word of God move him deeply and become incarnate in his daily life. One will then be communicating to others what one has contemplated and prayed about.
151-153.. Lectio Divina consists in reading God's word in midst of prayer and contemplation. In God's presence doing recollected readings it is good to ask questions such as: Lord what is this text saying to me? What troubles me about this text? Why am I not interested in this text? What is there that moves me, attracts me?
160. Evangelization should stimulate a desire for growth so that each of us can say whole heartedly, "It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me? Gal 2:20
164. First and foremost on lips of catechists is the proclamation, "Jesus Christ loves you, he gave his life to save you and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you.
176. To evangelize is to make the kingdom of God present in our world.
178. Accepting the first proclamation of the kerygma which invites us to receive God's love and to love him in return with the very love which is his gift brings forth in our lives and actions a primary and fundamental response to desire, seek and protect the good of others.
179. "As you did it to one of these, the least of my brethren you did it to me" Mt 25:40 The way we treat others has a transcendent dimension. "The measure you give will be the measure you get". Mt. 7:2
180. "Seek first God's kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well." Mt. 6:33 Jesus' mission is to inaugurate the kingdom of his Father; he commands his disciples to proclaim the good news that the kingdom of heaven is at hand " Mt. 10:7
181. Our mandate is to go into all the world and proclaim the good news to all of creation Mk 16:15 All of creation waits with eagerness for the revealing of the children of God. Rom. 8:19 The mandate of charity encompasses all dimensions of existence, all individuals, all area of community life, and all peoples.
197. God's heart has a special place for the poor so much so that he himself became poor (2 Cor. 8:9) Salvation comes to us from the yes uttered by a lowly maiden from a small town on the fringes of a great empire. The Savior was born in a manger in the midst of animals. In the temple he was offered with two turtle doves the offering of the poor. He was raised in a home of ordinary workers and worked with his own hands to earn his bread. When he began to preach the kingdom crowds of the dispossessed followed him.
198. Inspired by this life of Christ, the Church has always understood a special form of primacy of the poor in exercise of Christian Charity. The poor have much to share with us in their sense of faith but also in their difficulties they know the suffering of Christ. We need to let ourselves be evangelized by them. We are called to find Christ in them and to lend our voices to their causes.
200. I want to say with regret the worst discrimination which the poor suffer is the lack of spiritual care. The great majority of the poor have a special openness to the faith. They need God and we must not fail to offer them His friendship, his blessing, and His word. Our preferential option for the poor must translate into a privileged and preferential religious care.
203. Business is a noble vocation provided that those engaged in it see themselves challenged by a greater meaning in life; this will enable them truly to serve the common good by striving to increase the goods of this world to make them more accessible to all.
209. Jesus, evangelizer par excellence, identifies especially with the little ones, the vulnerable. As Christians we are called to care for the vulnerable of the earth. But the current model with its emphasis on success and self-reliance, does not appear to favor an investment in efforts to help the slow, the weak, or the less talented to find opportunities in life.
213. Among the vulnerable to whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us. Defense of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable in any situation and in every stage of development. Every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offense against the creator of the individual.
263. Every period of history is marked by the presence of human weakness, self-absorption, complacency and selfishness, to say nothing of the concupiscence which preys upon us all.
264. The primary reason for evangelizing is the love of Jesus which we have received the experience of salvation. which urges us to ever greater love of him. What kind of love would not feel the need to speak of the beloved, to point him out, to make him known. If we do not feel an intense desire to share this love, we need to pray insistently thay he will once more touch our hearts.
266. A true missionary knows that Jesus walks with him, speaks to him, breathes wih him, and works with him. A person who is not convinced, enthusiastic, certain and in love will convince nobody..
267. Beyond all our preferences and interests, our knowledge, and motivations, we evangelize for the greater glory of the Father who loves us." Jesus rejoices eternally to be close to the Father's heart." (Jn.15:8)
272. Loving others is a spiritual force drawing us to union with God. Indeed, one who does not love others, "walks in the darkness." (Jn 2:11) "remains in death" (1 Jn 3:14) and does not know God." (1Jn. 4:8)
Whenever we encounter another person in love we learn something new about God. This openness of the heart is a source of joy since "it is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20;35)
274. If we are to share our lives with others and generously give of ourselves, we also have to realize that every person is worthy of our giving. They are all God's handiwork. God created each person in His image and he or she reflects something of God's glory.
275. Some people do not commit themselves to mission because they think that nothing will change and that it is useless to make the effort. They think: "Why should I deny myself my comforts and pleasures if I won't see any significant result?" This attitude makes it impossible to be a missionary. It is only a malicious excuse for remaining caught up in comfort,t laziness and empty selfishness. If we think things are never going to change we need to recall that Jesus Christ has triumphed over sin and death.
278. Let us believe the Gospel when it tells us that the kingdom of God is already present tin this world and is growing here and there and in different ways like the smlall seed which grows into the great tree (Mt. 13:31) and like the good seed that frows amid the weeds )Mt. 13:24) and can always pleasantly surprise us. Jesus did not rise in vain.
279. Because we do not always see these seeds growing, we need an interior certainty, a conviction that God is able to act in every situation even amid apparent setbacks. Let us be assured that none of our acts of love will be lost nor any of our acts of sincere concern for others. Sometimes it seems our acts are fruitless but don't believe it. None will be lost, no effort is meaningless, no painful endurance is wasted. All of these encircle our world like a vital force giving life according to God's holy will. The Holy Spirit works His will where He wants to when He wants to even across the globe.
286. Mary the Mother of God let herself be guided by the Holy Spirit in her journey of faith toward a destiny of service and fruitfulness. Today we look to her and ask her help in proclaiming the message of salvation to all and to enable new disciples to become evangelizers in turn.