Bishop's Blog / A Beautiful Image

By Joseph Strickland
Monday, February 24, 2014

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In his most recent Exhortation Gaudium Evangelii Pope Francis encourages all Christians and especially priests to "Be joyful messengers of challenging proposals".  I believe this captures the attitude of discipleship that we should all have.

The Gospel for yesterday, the Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time offers Jesus admonition that we are to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.  That is a profoundly challenging proposal but Christ seems to lay it down as a clear goal for all of His followers.  We can easily dismiss this Gospel ideal as simply impossible to attain and in reality it is but in the face of this challenge being joyful messengers is part of the work.

As the title of the exhortation emphasizes, Pope Francis is constantly calling us back to the joy of our life in Christ.  Let us present all of His challenging messages with the joy of knowing that His truth set us free.


Joseph Strickland

Bishop Joseph E. Strickland was named the fourth bishop of Tyler in September of 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. Prior to being named bishop, he served a number of roles in the diocese, including vicar general, judicial vicar, and pastor of the Cathedral parish. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1985.
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