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Friday, December 13, 2013

Rejoice in the Lord always...

The Advent spirit is one of waiting and just being with Mary as she also is waiting and helping us to prepare for this coming of the Lord into our hearts again in a special way this Christmas. Jesus is with us now, but He is also coming to fill our hearts as we make space for Him. I think I am sometimes so preoccupied with the daily tasks that I am not attentive to His presence. Advent calls us to keep alert; be aware of the many ways Jesus speaks to us each day through others, even through e-mails and phone calls and chance encounters...
Let us try to keep our focus on Jesus and Mary as we prepare to live Advent fully.

Here is the next bit of the Gospel of Joy: (You will notice that I have skipped some)

It is not advisable for the Pope to take the place of local Bishops in the discernment of every issue which arises in their territory. In this sense, I am conscious of the need to promote a sound “decentralization”.
Here I have chosen to present some guidelines which can encourage and guide the whole Church in a new phase of evangelization, one marked by enthusiasm and vitality. In this context, and on the basis of the teaching of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, I have decided, among other themes, to discuss at length the following questions:

a) the reform of the Church in her missionary outreach;
b) the temptations faced by pastoral workers;
c) the Church, understood as the entire People of God which evangelizes;
d) the homily and its preparation;
e) the inclusion of the poor in society;
f) peace and dialogue within society;
g) the spiritual motivations for mission.
I have dealt extensively with these topics, with a detail which some may find excessive. But I have done so, not with the intention of providing an exhaustive treatise but simply as a way of showing their important practical implications for the Church’s mission today. All of them help give shape to a definite style of evangelization which I ask you to adopt in every activity which you undertake. In this way, we can take up, amid our daily efforts, the biblical exhortation: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say: Rejoice” (Phil

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