Subtitled “on the call to holiness in the contemporary world”, the apostolic exhortation “Gaudete et exsultate” (Rejoice and be glad) will be published on Monday.
Gaudete et exsultate will be the third apostolic exhortation issued by Pope Francis. In 2016 he issued Amoris laetitia, on love in the family, and in 2013 Evangelii gaudium, on the proclamation of the Gospel in today’s world. To these documents are added the two encyclicals Laudato si‘, of 2015 , on the care for our land, the common home of all peoples, and Lumen Fidei, of 2013, on the theme of faith, written ‘with two hands’ with Pope Benedict XVI.
Pope Francis had already invited all Christians to learn “from the saints who have preceded us and have faced the difficulties proper to their time”, inculturating “the Gospel in the life of our people” (cfr. EG 233. 263) and living with joy and humility at the service of others, up to the gift of one’s own life. For him:
“The Saints are not supermen, nor were they born perfect. They are like us, like each one of us. They are people who, before reaching the glory of heaven, lived normal lives with joys and sorrows, struggles and hopes. What changed their lives? When they recognized God’s love, they followed it with all their heart without reserve or hypocrisy. They spent their lives serving others, they endured suffering and adversity without hatred and responded to evil with good, spreading joy and peace. Never hate but serve others, the most needy; pray and live in joy. This is the way of holiness!”.
On Monday when the exhortation will be presented, we shall also celebrate the solemnity of the Annunciation of the angel to Mary, postponed because of the Easter festivities. Let us ask Mary our mother, to help us to walk with joy on the path of missionary holiness, with the same words of Pope Francis:
Virgin Mary obtain for us now a new ardour born of the Resurrection That we may bring to all the Gospel of life, which triumphs over death Give us a holy courage to seek the new paths, that the gift of unfading beauty may reach every man and woman.