“The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. …With Christ joy is constantly born anew.” – Pope Francis (Joy of the Gospel)
The joy of knowing God is profound and can exist in the midst of difficulties. Do people know this?
In fact, this should be essential to the Christian. Even beyond enjoying a good meal with friends or a good vacation, the happiness of Christ, the source of true peace and justice, is the gift He offers to his followers. St. Paul urges the first Christians of Philippi, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice!” He goes on to give the basic reason for this profound happiness: “The Lord is at hand.”
St. Josemaria Escriva expands on this passage:
“What St. Paul says here is particularly impressive if one bears in mind that he is writing his letter from prison. In order to have joy it does not matter if we are living in difficult conditions. For a Christian, joy is a treasure. Only by offending God do we lose it, because it is the fruit of selfishness, and selfishness is the root of sadness.” (Christ Is Passing By, 178)
I have met many people that have made some serious, big mistakes in their lives, and when they encountered Jesus – when they realized Jesus knew them and loved them – it was the beginning of a change in their lives!
I believe the reason many people, especially women, enter the new age religion and the occult or pagan religions is because they are searching for answers, for peace, for love. Many are led into a dark pit that keeps them there unless they encounter someone that will lead them to know the true peace they are yearning for – in Christ!
As Christians, as followers of Jesus, we must try to be aware of those searching for true peace and joy. And we too must ask the Holy Spirit to ignite within our souls the fire of God’s love. Do this, and you will experience the abundant joy of His love!
Mary Jane Fox, D.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with her husband, Deacon Tom Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Mary Jane is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Dame of the Holy Sepulchre.
Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.