Greetings to all in this New Year,
Recently our Holy Father Francis wrote an Apostolic Exhortation to the Bishops, Clergy, Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful called "Evangelii Gaudium" (The Joy of the Gospel). The Pope has a way of speaking and writing from his heart. It seems that he has a burning desire to want us to draw close to Jesus. He calls each one of us to an encounter—or a renewed encounter—with God's love. This should impel us to bring others to Jesus. He reminds us that with Christ, joy is the echo of God's life in us.
This reminds me of the joy I recently experienced through the many volunteers who came to beautify our Church for Christmas. The joy that pervaded in the midst of all this work made God's life very visible to me. To all involved, thank you for your joy.
Reading Pope Francis's exhortation rekindled the flame which God placed in my heart at the beginning of my religious vocation. The joy and the privilege of making known God's infinite love has always been in my heart. After reading this document I feel a great longing and desire for everyone to come to know Jesus in a personal way. It is my hope that you will pick up this inspiring exhortation which is filled with messages of joy, hope, love, challenge, conversion and deepening of our baptismal call to evangelize. In his words: "And may the world of our time, which is searching, sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope, be enabled to receive the good news … from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervor, who have first received the joy of Christ."
There is so much in this document, just Google 'The Joy of the Gospel'.