Thought for the Day – 3 December “Praying Advent with Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation – “The Joy of the Gospel”
Pope Francis begins by warning us about how our culture impacts us and robs us of our joy and our compassion:
The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of His love is no longer felt and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it and end up resentful, angry and listless. That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ.
Then, Pope Francis offers the remedy for this danger – our personal relationship with Jesus:
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. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord”.[ Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete in Domino (9 May 1975)]
The Holy Father suggests this prayer:
Now is the time to say to Jesus: “Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned Your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with You. I need You. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into Your redeeming embrace”.