‘In the light of our Master’ Jesus Christ, and after reflecting on the Beatitudes and Mathew 25 last week; we continue our journey with Chapter 4 of “Rejoice and Be Glad.” In this chapter, Pope Francis discusses signs of holiness in today’s world and five great expressions of how love is shown to God and neighbor. The first sign is an inner strength that allows us to navigate through life’s ups and downs, maintaining the ability in our daily lives to remain peaceful even though others may treat us unfairly. It is no easy task to respond with patience, humility, and meekness in a culture that offers us constant distractions, noise and competition. The second is to be bold, to challenge ourselves to stay in the game rather then shy away from difficulty, rebel or take vengeance on others for the way they treat you. Nothing and no one can keep us from the joy of God. The third is to be joy filled since joy inspires in us a sense of humor that the world cannot take from us. Doing good for others allows us to sustain a joyful countenance since loving our neighbor increases our capacity for joy. The fourth expression is a necessary tendency to be in community with others whether it is as a family, a parish or a religious community. Being with others keeps us from isolation and helps us to cherish and exhibit small acts of love. Focusing on the present moment and being thoughtful to the details of charity. The pope’s last great expression of love in today’s world is to be in constant prayer and to find the face of Christ in the prayerful reading of God’s inspired Word. Meeting Jesus in the Scriptures leads us to the Eucharist, where the written word attains its greatest efficacy, for there the living Word is truly present. Since seeking to be like Jesus is a life long pursuit, the Eucharist is what sustains and nurtures an intimate relationship with God and is the is the greatest worship that the world can give since it is Christ himself who is offered.
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