Pope Francis continued his catechism on the theme of “Evangelical zeal, that is, apostolic zeal” during his usual public audience on Wednesday. He encouraged the faithful to say that each day is a “moment of God’s grace” and a “new opportunity” for those who follow Christ.
(Vatican News Network) On the morning of January 25, Pope Francis presided over the public audience on Wednesday in the Pope Paul VI Hall, continuing his catechism with the theme of “Apostolic Passion”. The Pope emphasized that for followers of Christ, each day is a “moment of grace” and a new opportunity.
The pope reflected on how Jesus “the paragon of preaching” communicated his message. He points out that in the synagogue at Nazareth, when Jesus began his public proclamation of the Gospel, in full fulfillment of the prophecy of the prophet Isaiah, he came “to proclaim the good news to the poor, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (cf. Lk 4. 18-19).
The Pope said that Jesus’ preaching conveyed some essential elements, especially joy, freedom, light, healing and wonder. “One cannot help but be filled with joy when talking about Jesus because faith is a beautiful love story to share,” he said.
To bear witness to Jesus, to do something for others in his name, to bear witness to a grace so wonderful is “that which cannot be expressed in words”, the Pope stressed. On the contrary, if there is a lack of joy, the gospel cannot be preached. The gospel is by its nature a “declaration of joy”. “A melancholy Christian may talk of very good things, but it is all for naught if the good news he proclaims is not joyful.”
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a message of salvation, as the prophets foretold. It brings contagious joy, true freedom, the promise of rebirth in spiritual life as a beloved child of God, and complete healing from slavery to sin and death.
Those of us who believe in Jesus and have experienced the transforming power of his word, the Pope encouraged, are called not only to be grateful for this wonderful gift, but to share it freely and joyfully with others. For followers of Christ, each day is a “moment of God’s grace” and a new opportunity to witness the Gospel of God’s mercy, forgiveness and new life in Jesus.
The Pope then emphasized that when we go to God for forgiveness, “God forgives everything”, “God is so great!” He is always waiting for us. In order to meet the Lord, we should become poor in spirit.
In conclusion, the Pope urges all the faithful to turn to Jesus, acknowledging that we ourselves will not achieve perfection. If we humbly express our need for Jesus, he will be with us, the Pope said.
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