The hymn Peace is Flowing like a River has for many years been a staple in our liturgies and prayer meetings. One verse focuses on joy: “Joy is flowing like a river/ Flowing out through you and me/ Flowing out into the desert/ Setting all the captives free.” The image is of something we simply can’t keep a lid on – a cup running over, a spring bubbling up – streaming out of us and transforming the lives of others.
In his letter on evangelization, Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis says that a missionary is a person who “knows the joy of being a spring which spills over and refreshes others.” Being a missionary disciple should not be a somber, heavy chore. If the joy of the Gospel truly fills our hearts, we should be unable to contain it. Like the disciples who received the Spirit at Pentecost, we will burst out into the world, eager to share our joy. This goes for our church as well as individuals: “An evangelizing community is filled with joy; it knows how to rejoice always” (Evangelii Gaudium). May the Holy Spirit give all missionaries, at home and abroad, a heart full of joy and a tongue to confess, “We have found the Messiah!”
- Triona Doherty
Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Ireland)