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VI Easter Sunday

The great joy of the Gospel

5/18/2017
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Dear Brothers and Sisters, Fiat!

The book of the Acts of the Apostles states that after a first violent persecution, the Christian community of Jerusalem, except for the Apostles, spread to the surrounding areas. Philip, one of the deacons, arrived in a city of Samaria. There he preached the Risen Christ, and his proclamation was supported by numerous healings, so that the outcome of the episode was very positive: “there was much joy in that city” . We are repeatedly impressed in a profound way by this expression, which in essence communicates a sense of hope, as if saying: It is possible! It is possible for humanity to know true joy, because wherever the Gospel comes, life flourishes, just as arid ground, irrigated by rain, immediately turns back to green.

With the strength of the Holy Spirit, Philip and the other disciples accomplished in the villages of Palestine what Jesus had done: They preached the Good News and worked miraculous signs. It was the Lord who acted through them. As Jesus proclaimed the coming of the Kingdom of God, so the disciples proclaimed the Risen Jesus, professing that he is the Christ, the Son of God, baptizing in his name and driving out every illness of body and spirit.

 

“There was much joy in that city”. Reading this passage, one thinks spontaneously of the healing power of the Gospel, which throughout the centuries has “watered” so many populations, like a beneficent river. Several great men and women saints brought hope and peace to entire cities — we think of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and of so many missionaries, whose names are known by God, who have given their lives to bring the proclamation of Christ and make profound joy flower among men. While the powers of this world sought to conquer new territories for political and economic interests, Christ’s messengers went everywhere with the aim of bringing Christ to men and men to Christ, knowing that he alone can give true freedom and eternal life.

 

Today too the Church’s vocation is evangelization: whether it be to populations which have not yet been “irrigated” by the living water of the Gospel, or to those that, though having ancient Christian roots, are in need of new nourishment to bear new fruit and rediscover the beauty and joy of the faith.

 

 

Jesus too is happy when we talk about Him! That was explained to Luisa by Him in a passage of February 14, 1922. Jesus said to her that all His joy, His feast, was when He saw her write. He saw being inscribed in those written words, His glory, His life, the knowledge of Him that multiplied more and more. The light of the Divinity, the power of the Divine Will, the outpouring of His love - He saw them written on paper, and in each word He felt the fragrance of all His perfumes.

Then He saw those written words run, run into the midst of the peoples, to bring new knowledges, His outpouring love, the secrets of His Will. And as Luisa wrote new things of what regarded God and His Will, He kept inventing new favors in order to repay her, and He disposed Himself to tell her new truths so as to give her new favors.

Jesus has always loved more and reserved greater graces for those who have written about Him, because they are the continuation of His evangelical life - the spokesmen of His word; and what they did not say in the Gospel, Jesus intended to say to those who would write about Him. He did not finish preaching,  He must preach always, for as long as the generations will exist.


Now we have the simple and profound words of Pope Francis: "The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. With Christ joy is constantly born anew." The Pope reminds us of the joy of the gospel and reminds us of the importance of the work of evangelization in our time, in all the situations of our life.


The apostle Peter in the second reading tells us: "In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,."

The joy of the gospel is not a set of ideas, but it is the experience of our life with Jesus, in Jesus, for Jesus. " keep My commandments ": it is how we must love Jesus.

“I will pray the Father and He will give you the Holy Spirit defender and consoler. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you”.

 

In 'Evangelii Gaudium,' the Pope says: “I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day….. Let us not flee from the resurrection of Jesus, let us never give up, come what will. May nothing inspire more than his life, which impels us onwards!”.

don Marco
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