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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Are you filled with inner joy because you are a Christian? Does your faith make you joyful? - Daily Reflections October 1,2015


Memorial of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Virgin
and Doctor of the Church
 
CHRISTIANS AS JOYFUL MISSIONARY DISCIPLES
 
In November 2013, Pope Francis issued the Apostolic Letter “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel). He mentions the word “joy” 59 times. This is amazing because many Catholics do not find joy in their religion. They see it as a joykiller because of the many commandments and prohibitions. No wonder most Catholics are not eager to share their faith with others.
       Pope Francis emphasizes on the word “joy,” saying that we are supposed to live out the “Good” News. Today’s Gospel passage reminds us that we are not only disciples of Christ but also His missionaries. Pope Francis writes, “Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization; indeed, anyone who has truly experienced God’s saving love does not need much time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim that love. Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus: We no longer say that we are “disciples” and “missionaries,” but rather that we are always  “missionary disciples… Our falling short of perfection should be no excuse; on the contrary, mission is a constant stimulus not to remain mired in mediocrity but to continue growing.”
       To be a missionary disciple, one needs to be in love with Christ, to know Christ and His love and mercy, and to be full of enthusiasm and joy.
       On October 4, 2013, Pope Francis told the cloistered nuns of St. Claire in Assisi, “I am so disappointed when I meet nuns who are joyless, who may smile with the smile of a flight attendant but not with the smile of joy that comes from within.”
       That applies not only to nuns but to all Catholics who are called to be missionary disciples like the 72 whom Jesus sent out to proclaim the Good News. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
 
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Are you filled with inner joy because you are a Christian? Does your faith make you joyful?
 
Lord, help me to focus on the joy that You want to fill me with. May this inner joy help me to share the Good News of Your love with my fellowmen.

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