Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Spirituality: “Our Joy is Jesus Christ” by Pope Francis

The joy of the Gospel is not just any joy. It consists in knowing one is welcomed and loved by God. He gives us the strength to go forward. He is always with us in order to help us to go forward. He is a God who loves us so very much: he loves us and that is why he is with us, to help us, to strengthen us, to help us go forward. Courage! Always forward! Thanks to his help, we can always begin again.

The Prophet Isaiah exhorts those who have lost their way and have lost heart to entrust themselves to the faithfulness of the Lord, for his salvation will not delay in bursting into their lives. All those who have encountered Jesus along the way experience a serenity and joy in their hearts which nothing and no one can take away. Our joy is Jesus Christ, his faithful love is inexhaustible! Therefore, when a Christian becomes sad, it means that he has distanced himself from Jesus. But then we must not leave him alone! We should pray for him and make him feel the warmth of the community.

In Him it is possible to find interior peace and the strength to face different life situations every day, even the heaviest and most difficult. No one has ever heard of a sad saint with a mournful face. This is unheard of! It would be a contradiction. The Christian’s heart is filled with peace because he knows how to place his joy in the Lord even when going through difficult moments in life. To have faith does not mean to never have difficult moments but to have strength to face those moments knowing that we are not alone. And this is the peace that God gives to His children.

Diane M. Houdek, The Joy of Advent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis, pp. 52-53.