Pope Francis continues to encourage and challenge Christians everywhere to announce the Good and joyful News of Jesus Christ with their daily lives. There is no greater joy to be found than in the joy of the Resurrection. This truly is the key to understanding how a person can act with joy even in the midst of sorrow or suffering.
Advent is a wonderful time to consider how the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ should fundamentally change our outlook on life. What would be different about you if Jesus had not been born? What would be different in our world if Jesus had not died and then rose from the dead? Why is it important to have a relationship with Jesus? How does this relationship affect my actions and reactions? These are some big questions that we can spend a lifetime reflecting on.
What is incredible about Pope Francis is how he breaks down these big questions and hones in on how we can concretely start to understand them.For Pope Francis, and for our 3 minute reflection today, our relationship with Jesus hinges on an invitation. The following is from the opening passages of the Joy of the Gospel apostolic exhortation:
I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day (3).
Advent brings us many opportunities for considering inviting Jesus into our lives. Even though there wasn’t much room in Bethlehem, someone invited Mary and Joseph and by extension, Jesus, to use their stable. The shepherds received an invitation from the angels to go find Jesus. The three kings or wise men understood the star to be an invitation to find a new king.
Again, today take your 3 minutes to intentionally open yourself to Jesus. Invite Him into your heart. Ask Him how your day should be shaped now that He is intimately a part of it.
***What do you have hanging on your front door? Is it time to swap out the decor for something more joyful? Please feel free to share your experience, thoughts and offer support to one another in the comments, on Twitter with the #DailyGraces or on the Facebook page.