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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis: "Christian witness cannot be separated from joy and freedom"

In his weekly catechesis, Pope Francis addressed the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and explained that Christians should always be joyful.


Dear brothers and sisters:

In our continuing catechesis on apostolic zeal, the desire to share with others the joy of the Gospel, we now consider how Jesus himself, our Teacher and Master, chose to present his message. In the synagogue of Nazareth, at the very beginning of his public ministry,

the Lord revealed that, in fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, he came to proclaim good news to the poor and a year of favor from the Lord (cf. Lk 4:16-21).

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is thus, as the prophet foretold, a saving message that brings contagious joy, authentic freedom, the promise of spiritual rebirth as God’s beloved sons and daughters, and definitive healing from the oppression of sin and death. We who, by God’s grace, have put our faith in Jesus and experienced the transformative power of his word, are called not only to give thanks for this wondrous gift, but also to share it freely and joyfully with others. For Christ’s followers, every day is thus a “time of grace” and a new opportunity to bear witness to the “good news” of God’s gracious offer of mercy, forgiveness and new life in Jesus his beloved Son.

I extend a warm welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from Australia and the United States of America. In the context of this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, I offer a special greeting to the group from the Bossey Ecumenical Institute. Upon all of you, and upon your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God bless you!