The diocesan Cursillo community is planning a three-day experience with the theme of “joy”. It is expected that this “emotion of keen or lively pleasure” will be experienced by those accepting the offer of participating in the weekend and by those presenting.
“The Church exists to evangelise,” stated Pope Paul VI in 1975 in Evangelii Nuntiandi. “As an evangeliser, Christ first of all proclaims…the kingdom of God…The Lord will delight in describing…the happiness of belonging to this kingdom...” (8)
My mission then as a Christian is to bring happiness and joy to those around me in my world. What a wonderful task!
It is no coincidence that two of Pope Francis’ recent exhortations are The Joy of the Gospel and The Joy of Love. In his exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) he advises: “…an evangeliser must never look like someone who has just come from a funeral! Let us recover and deepen our enthusiasm, that “delightful and comforting joy of evangelising….” (10)
Here are critical instructions, and yet as an evangeliser my ability and willingness to proclaim the Gospel fall a little short. As a practising Catholic it has not been part of my formation to witness to the love of God from the street corners. I could do with some assistance!
Cursillo offers a framework for people to introduce their friends to Jesus or to renew their own relationship: “Make a friend, be a friend, bring a friend to Christ.” It allows people to invite their friends to a three-day experience of Christian community where witnesses share their life stories, including their struggles in the Christian life. It invariably involves a renewal of the faith lives of all involved. And it makes them joyful evangelisers!
And yet, even armed with this tool, the reality of life often interferes with my joy. Pope Francis shows his awareness of this in The Joy of Love. “The Lord’s presence dwells in real and concrete families, with all their daily troubles and struggles, joys and hopes.” (315)
Again, Pope Francis encourages me: “The primary reason for evangelising is the love of Jesus which we have received, the experience of salvation….What kind of love would not feel the need to speak of the beloved, to point him out, to make him known?” (264 EG)
There is nothing more precious we can offer to others than an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ; a way of life full of love for our world!
You are warmly invited to join us on this year’s Cursillo at Myuna Bay, Morisset, 9-12 June. For more information P Greg Byrne 0427 918 568 or Linda Norris 0408 077 089.