Review: The Joy of the Gospel – Evangelii Gaudium

Posted March 11, 2015 in Faith, Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Review: The Joy of the Gospel – Evangelii GaudiumThe Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis
Publisher: Image (2013)
Hardcover (196 pages)
Via: Blogging for Books
Also by this author: Walking with Jesus, Encountering Truth, The Name of God is Mercy
Reading Challenges: 2015 Alphabet Soup, Read 2015


Pope Francis apostolic exhortation is a passionate call for every Christian to be constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others. He envisions a church of Spirit-filled evangelizers who exude joy and care for God’s people, especially the poor. “Evangelii Gaudium” is thought provoking, wide-ranging, and challenging to every Catholic. Those who carefully read it, study it, and pray with it will be ready for take up, with the whole Church, this new phase of evangelization, one marked by enthusiasm and vitality and, most especially, joy.

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I do not even know where to begin with this review. Evangelii Gaudium is Pope Francis’ first Apostolic Exhortation. This edition is a beautiful, smaller hardcover. It is a great size for carrying around in my purse which is where it can often be found.

This is a text I will be rereading multiple times in the future as it has so much in it. The premise of the text is the exhortation for all Christians to evangelization through joy. Through an encounter with Christ we are transformed and filled with a joy for the Gospel, the Good News.

Throughout this exhortation I feel myself being called to remember that I am Christian in everything I do. My entire life can be an evangelization to others. My actions and the way that I share the joy of Christ can help to influence the way others perceive the Church. Through my daily life, I can bring Jesus Christ to all that I encounter.

Instead of making this review deeply theological (which it easily could become), I am going to leave you with some of my favorite quotes.

(In case you are unaware, Church documents are cited using paragraph numbers rather than page numbers. This is helpful because the official text for Church documents is Latin. The paragraph numbers will correlate even when the page numbers don’t.)

The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. para. 1

God asks everything of us, yet at the same time he offers everything to us.para. 12
Christians have the duty to proclaim the Gospel without excluding anyone. Instead of seeming to impose new obligations, they should appear as people who wish to share their joy, who point to a horizon of people and who invite others to a delicious banquet.para. 15
I dream of a “missionary option,” that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.para. 27
Wherever there is life, fervour and a desire to bring Christ to others, genuine vocations will arise.para. 107
Being a disciple means being constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others, and this can happen unexpectedly and in any place: on the street, in a city square, during work, on a journey.para. 127
Let us listen to what God’s word teaches us about mercy, and allow that word to resound in the life of the Church.para. 193

Pope Francis ends this apostolic exhortation with a semi-lengthy prayer asking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. What a fitting way to entrust the work of the Church in the hands of the Virgin Mother of God. For it was Jesus Himself on the Cross who left us His Mother to be our Mother, the Mother of the Church.

Mother of the living Gospel,
wellspring of happiness for God’s little ones,
pray for us.
para. 288

Which Reading Challenges?

  • You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
  • Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge (J)


I received this book for free from the publisher via Blogging for Books for review consideration.
This in no way affects my opinion of the title nor the content of this review.

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