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“Dear friends, be glad! Do not be afraid of being joyful!”
—Pope Francis, from The Joy of Discipleship
Near the end of Luke’s Gospel, two disciples slowly make their way home from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus. At the outset, they are deeply saddened by Jesus’ tragic death. By that evening, however, they have made a 180-degree turn: from dejected disciples to followers filled with joy—a joy they simply must share with others as fast as they can. What accounts for this change? They have encountered the risen Christ!
In The Joy of Discipleship, Pope Francis reminds us that joy should be one of the defining characteristics of any person who has truly encountered Jesus. This skillfully curated collection of homilies, speeches, and other documents from Pope Francis, compiled and edited by James P. Campbell, offers a fresh perspective on why Christian disciples should be so joyful in the first place and how that joy might manifest itself in our individual daily lives. Covering a broad range of themes—Christ’s Resurrection, mercy, wealth and poverty, the Christian family, and more—The Joy of Discipleship moves us to meditate on Christ and then inspires us to move out from our own four walls, jubilantly proclaiming God’s transforming love in word and deed.
For anyone who wants what Pope Francis has—an active, abiding, authentic love for Jesus Christ, for the Church, and for the people of this world—The Joy of Discipleship will point the way.
“This volume gives us a portrait of the Pope and what amazing joy fills his life, his mind, his teaching . . . his discipleship!”
—From the foreword by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
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POPE FRANCIS was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on December 17, 1936, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was ordained a priest in 1969, and from 1973 to 1979 served as Argentina’s Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus. He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, and was created a Cardinal in 2001. On March 13, 2013, Bergoglio was named successor to Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Francis is the first Jesuit Pope in history.
JAMES P. CAMPBELL, D.MIN., father of two children and grandfather of six, is a religious educator and author. He is the coauthor of the Finding God religious education program and has three post-graduate degrees, including masters degrees in theology and history and a doctorate in Ministry in Christian Education from the Aquinas Institute of Theology. He lives in Rockford, IL, with his wife Barbara.
Pope Francis is a truly happy man. He radiates joy, love, and indescribable peace. All this comes through, too, in this fine collection of his homilies, talks, and writings, compiled and edited by James Campbell. I feel sure that those who read these inspiring pages will be enriched and experience something of that joy, love, and peace expressed through the life of our beloved pope. (Elisabetta Piqué)
The capacity for joy takes its root in hope. Pope Francis is our generation’s prophet of hope and thus our prophet of joy. This is him at his best, befuddling our unhappy categories, offering a vision of hope and mercy, and showing us in his own person the joy found in an earthy, cheerful discipleship. (Ronald Rolheiser, OMI)
According to Pope Francis, God's compassionate love for us and our responsibility to love one another, especially the poor and marginalized, are central to evangelization. God's love fills us with joy, which we want to share with others. Francis preaches the Gospel, not the catechism. He is more concerned about how we live our faith than how we explain it. (Thomas J. Reese, SJ)
James Campbell’s seamless compilation brings out the extraordinary vitality of Pope Francis’s message of joy and mercy spoken to a wounded world. The gospel is “good news.” Christ is alive. The Holy Spirit is at work, bringing hope and healing. The pope has something important to say—listen to him! (Jim Manney)
If one is seeking inspiration from Pope Francis, The Joy of Discipleship is the best compilation out there. (Mark E. Thibodeaux, SJ)
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