The Joy of the Gospel

Pope Francis speaks to the Church. Based on Evangelii Gaudium 

“With Christ, joy is constantly born anew. It is a joy to be shared.”

“I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people!” is the angel’s message to poor shepherds (Lk 2:10). And it is a message that resounds in Pope Francis’ much publicised apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (‘The joy of the Gospel’).

The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. It is a joy to be shared! (See EG, #1)

How perfectly this message reverberates at Christmas time as believers contemplate the Christ-child. Even for non-believers it is a season which naturally lends itself to goodwill, harmony, joy, and the sharing of that joy with family and friends.

Over the Christmas season, then, as we go about our festivities, let us take to heart the challenge of Pope Francis who invites us to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ. For the Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk. Whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realise that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms. He can break through darkness, through dullness, with divine creativity and eternal newness. (See EG,# 3)

This Christmas, take the risk and share the joy!

A joy that brings light to the darkness
The Christmas period can also be a painful time: the emotional intensity of family dynamics, the material expectations of gift-giving and financial pressures, the absence of loved ones. The holiday period can give rise to fractured families, poverty traps, isolation and grief.

And here too Pope Francis has strong words applicable to this time of year: about care for our
neighbour, the inclusiveness of our social circles, the directness of the link between having faith in Jesus and responding to the poor. This is a ‘no excuses’ Pope who firmly yet joyfully demands that we act for the common good and not hide behind pious niceties.

This Christmas, respond to his challenge.

Christmas reading
Read more from this papal document which has the world talking, which has evoked delight in many and rage in some, which is anything but boring, and which is addressed to each of us.
You will find it at the Vatican website ( The Pope’s language and style is remarkably reader-friendly. However given the document’s length, you might also find helpful this resource:

The Joy of the Gospel. A seven-step miniprogram based on Evangelii Gaudium and
suitable for individual and group reflection. Download it below. 


The Archdiocese of Brisbane also has a program for the Joy of the Gospel called "Joy-filled Good News". For details, click here.

Catholic Diocese of
Broken Bay

Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road
Pennant Hills NSW 2120

PO Box 340
Pennant Hills NSW 1715

Phone 02 9847 0000
Fax 02 9847 0001

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