Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pope Francis’ ‘Joy of the Gospel’ (Proclaimed November 24, 2013)

  The ‘Joy of the Gospel’, Evangelii Gaudium, brings to the whole world the good news - the Gospel.  Pope Francis proclaims the basic message that God loves all of creation, even sinners, and that the Kingdom of God is here on earth in so far as we love God and neighbor.  He cites the message of previous popes of ‘preferential option for the poor.’   In Pope Francis’ personal invitation to the faithful to work for social justice, love of neighbor, he does not use the ‘imperial we’ as did previous popes in similar messages. Paul VI wrote on the same subject in 1975, ‘On Evangelization in the Modern World’ (Evangelii Nuntiandi), and used the ‘imperial we.’  Pope Francis is by definition a monarch, but he has chosen to be a benevolent dictator and hears the cry of the people.

      Evangelii Gaudium boldly explains that Faith is confidence and trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob creator of all - a God that works with people to overcome the evil of an individualistic ‘survival of the fittest’ economic doctrine.  With Jesuit clarity, Pope Francis contrasts the Faith of Jews, Christians and Muslims in the one true God with faith in the ‘invisible hand’ that is supposed to regulate the market place.  Francis states:

   …some people continue to defend the trickle-down theories which   assume that economic growth encouraged by a free market, will   inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the economic system. #54

   As pastor of a church without frontiers, Francis pleads for migrants:

I exhort all countries to a generous openness which, rather than fearing the loss of identity, will prove capable of forming a new form of cultural synthesis. #210

In solidarity with the faithful and the poor Francis laments:

I have always been distressed at the lot of those who are victims of various kinds of human trafficking. How I wish all of us would hear God’s cry “Where is your brother?” (Gn. 4:9) Where is the brother and sister whom you are killing each day in clandestine warehouses, in rings of prostitution, in children used for begging, in exploiting undocumented labor?   #210  
With regard to his own flock, Francis directs with authority:     
We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim Immigrants to our to our countries … #253
   In the ‘Joy of the Gospel’ Francis, the first American pope, prays with Faith to Mary, the patroness of the Americas, hoping that his invitation to a new evangelization will be accepted by the faithful.  Francis reminds all of us the story that the campesino and evangelizer, Juan Diego, was comforted and strengthened by Our Lady of Guadalupe.  #286

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