In his exhortation “The joy of the Gospel,” Pope Francis asks to smile more and frown less. He encourages us to remember we are “post resurrection people.” This simply means we live in the “promise fulfilled” era of time. We have a Savior, Jesus Christ, who died and rose again-and so will we! And now we are sent to share this” promised fulfilled”. This is the joy of the Gospel-the Good News we all need to hear loud and strong every day. But even more so in these times of war, epidemics, hurricanes and other terrible happenings. We bear the joy that God still cares.
In “ Joy of the Gospel,” Pope Francis writes “what stifles boldness and zeal is defeatism,” which he says turns us into “disillusioned pessimists and sourpusses.”
And Pope Francis is showing us how. He refuses to be deterred by disheartening headlines, and instead models a different way -taking to the streets and making a difference. He asks that we smile more, and not just on our faces, but from our hearts.
And in the face of pessimism, he asks that we love. And he shows us how to do it. He loves babies, hugs the marginalized, and smiles and encourages the disenchanted. He is a beacon of light dismissing any darkness he finds. A reporter wrote in Time Magazine “ecumenical audiences have shown a hunger to follow him” Are we in this audience?
We will all do well to follow his lead, Today go out into the streets and show your joy. It can dispel the darkness too!