Dear Mr. Hansen

I would encourage students to read the short book by Pope Francis entitled “The Joy of the Gospel: Evangelii Gaudium.” Actually, one can download the text for free from the Vatican website, where it is available in many languages.

This book is a remarkable document and radiates the joy of its author, Pope Francis, when he writes about the Gospel. It is more than a book. It is a symphony in words with the first two sentences as its overture. “The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness.”

The book consists of 288 sections and the text in my printed copy runs a mere 142 pages. In section three the pope writes: “I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day.”

If one wants to do something special for Lent, reading this book is a wonderful place to start. Reading the book could be a life-changing experience.


Richard H. Escobales, Jr.


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