28 Feb 2018
Pope Francis has reminded us about the “joy of the gospel.” And there certainly is joy: joy in getting to know the Lord, joy in sharing ourselves with him. There’s joy in allowing ourselves, as individuals, to actually the hear the good news of the Lord, and to let it soak into our heart and mind and body. There’s certainly joy in being the happy recipients of the gospel.
But that joy can so quickly turn to suffering when we try to share that gospel. Some people, as I’m sure we all know…some people aren’t really that interested in hearing about love, or neighborliness, or relationship with God, or goodness, truth, or beauty, or any of what the gospel has to offer. Even fellow Christians can turn a deaf ear to what the Lord has to say, and what he has to offer. Our joy can quickly turn to suffering if we try to share the gospel. Of course, that’s the cross.
But there are two sides the coin, of course. We may suffer in trying to share the joy of the gospel with others, but…is someone trying to share the joy of the gospel with us and we aren’t listening? Who would think that sharing a message of love, peace, and happiness could be met with resistance? But it happens. People can resist us, and we can resist other people.
Of course, you can only do so much with how others react to the gospel. But we have a lot to say with how we ourselves react to the good news of Jesus. How do we respond to the gospel? Do we receive that joy into our hearts? Or do we cause others to suffer for the joy that it is in theirs?