Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spirituality: Pope Francis "Evangelii Gaudium"

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; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. 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.” [Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete in Domino, 9 May 1975, #22] 

The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms. Now is the time to say to Jesus: “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. Save me once again, Lord; take me once more into your redeeming embrace.” 

How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost! Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy. Christ, who told us to forgive one another “seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22) has given us his example; he has forgiven us seventy times seven. Time and time again he bears us on his shoulders. 

No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable or restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift our heads and start anew. Let us not flee from the resurrection of Jesus, let us never give up, come what will. May nothing inspire more than his life, which impels us onwards!

Source: Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium/The Joy of the Gospel, 24 November 2013, #3.