Pope Francis reflects on the passion for evangelization and the need for joy

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Pope Francis announced that his cycle of catechesis on the zeal to evangelize is coming to an end. He said he will summarize its content in four themes and, on this occasion, he tackled one: joy.

The Pope said that “we Christians cannot be sad people, much less resentful, traumatized by our own failures or the evolution of society. On the contrary, the strength of our proclamation lies in being able to communicate the joy that is born from an encounter with Jesus, even in difficult circumstances.” In this sense, he pointed out that those who follow Jesus must “rediscover his presence in our lives.”


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In our continuing catechesis on apostolic zeal, we now turn to the Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, and its calls to a renewed proclamation of the “joy of the Gospel.” The reason for that joy, which was first announced by the angels in Bethlehem, is our personal encounter with Jesus, who, now risen from the dead, offers us the promise of new and eternal life.

We see this in the Gospel story of the disciples who met the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus. With their hearts set afire by the Word of God that he proclaimed to them, they then recognized him in the breaking of the bread and joyfully returned to Jerusalem to announce his resurrection to the others.

Like those disciples, we too need to encounter the Lord ever anew in his Word and his sacramental presence, in order to share the liberating message of the Gospel with others. In our troubled world, so many people await a word of hope. May all Christians take up the challenge of sharing the joy of their own encounter with the risen Lord, the new life bestowed by his Spirit, and the freedom born of trust in his promises.

I welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims taking part in today’s Audience, particularly the groups from England, Malaysia, the Philippines, Korea and the United States of America. Upon all of you and upon your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!

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