A PAPAL DOCUMENT FOR READERS OF ‘NIEDZIELA’
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
The Holy Father Francis turns out to be a discovery for the Church. Maybe some cardinals, when asked today if they imagined such a successor of St. Peter, are thinking more deeply and do not say anything or they say very little because they thought it would be a different pope. It turned again that the very Holy Spirit acts at the conclave through human voting. And the Pope comes who shows the Gospel as if from a different side. He is calling: Let’s look - we all who are sinners – let’s look at God once again , and we will see, that he does not get tired of giving us his mercifulness. It is a man who can get tired, God is happy when a man is coming closer to Him, that he understands more and loves more. This is the Gospel!
Therefore, the exhortation ‘Evangelii gaudium’ – the Joy of Gospel. Because the Gospel is a good joyful news about salvation, given to people. So, we should have a joyful attitude towards it and we should joyfully experience our faith which comes from Christ’s resurrection in its first source. For death was overcome and this is the greatest joy of the man. Christian hope is based on this fact. This kind of faith is presented by the papal exhortation ‘Evangelii gaudium’, addressed to bishops and deacons and concerns preaching the Gospel in the contemporary world.
‘Gospel Joy fills the heart and the whole life of those who meet with Jesus. Those who allow for being redeemed by Him, become free from a sin, from sadness, from the inner emptiness , from isolation. Joy always is born and reborn with Jesus Christ. In this exhortation I want to address my words to Christian believers in order to invite them to start a new phase of evangelization, marked with this joy and point the paths for the Church in the nearest years’ – writes the pope Francis (n.1). I am very glad to inform Readers that this edition of ‘Niedziela’ includes a supplement of the exhortation text of ‘Evangelii gaudium’, with hope that it will wake up evangelical joy in us and we will start looking at everything which is connected with our salvation, that we will reject sad masks, lots of which we have gathered, and we will joyfully experience our faith. Because some people accuse us that our feasts are full of food under which even tables bend under it, and the table of the Divine Word is simply empty, our awareness of God who comes to us is blurred and unclear or it is not present at all. But beside the Christmas Eve table or a festive table, to which we pay so much attention, the great singing of heart should appear: ‘God is being born, the power is trembling…’. It is a great joy which gives sense to the table with a carp, at which our relatives have sat down, and for this reason we gather together in festive communities. This table is supposed to be a table of faith. Let’s notice how happy people are who are trying to live with faith, to whom God is very close, for whom He is a beloved Dad. They do not live on a kind of sadness desert, but even if something is bad and hard for them, they know that God will not leave them, that God is holding a man’s hand. And although nobody of us knows how God is finally realizing a man’s happiness, because we reach only the border of death, we are sure that He, Divine Father, loves us very much and He cares about the greatest good of every man.
So, the Church should bring this joy of the Gospel, joy of faith to a man as quickly as possible. Pope Francis emphasizes it and gives a beautiful testimony of it. Let’s also notice that blessed John Paul II, who is going to be canonized soon, showed us the Gospel and faith in a similar way. This faith is to be joyful, as well as captivating and beautiful. The Holy Father Francis helps us discover the Gospel anew. Faith is to shine in the hearts of bishops and priests, and impress everyone. Because Christian faith is the faith of joy.
Dear Christian man, consider the fact that you are God’s child, a man redeemed from his sins by Jesus Christ and designed for eternal happiness, that is, life, not death!
The celebrated year under the motto: ‘I believe in God’s Son’ in the Polish pastoral ministry can be called the year of our Redeemer, the Year of Incarnated Word. May this time be filled with the joy of the Gospel about which pope Francis writes in his exhortation ‘Evangelii gaudium’ so ardently and convincingly.