Jason Gray & Pope Francis

In Chapter 5 of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel, our holy Pope addresses thoughts and excuses that we sometimes have about not evangelizing, not telling others about Christ or our faith, not following the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, and not doing our part in making the world a better place. The Pope writes in number 275,


“Some people do not commit themselves to mission because they think that nothing will change and that it is useless to make the effort. They think: “Why should I deny myself my comforts and pleasures if I won’t see any significant result?” This attitude makes it impossible to be a missionary. It is only a malicious excuse for remaining caught up in comfort, laziness, vague dissatisfaction and empty selfishness. It is a self-destructive attitude, for ‘man cannot live without hope: life would become meaningless and unbearable.’”


Later, Pope Francis continues in number 277, “In cases like these, the Gospel, the most beautiful message that this world can offer, is buried under a pile of excuses.” Not so with Jason Gray, not so. And it doesn’t have to be with any of us as well.


As I read and reflect on the words Pope’s words in "The Joy of the Gospel," I am reminded of a contemporary Christian music artist named Jason Gray. He could have allowed a health challenge to keep him from proclaiming the Gospel through his music, but he didn’t. In fact, the health challenge affecting his speech goes away when he sings. It’s a very powerful story. He talks more about it in the following short YouTube videos:

“Jason Gray’s Testimony” 



“Jason Gray Encourages the Broken and Weak” 



“Jason Gray Talks About His Speech Impediment” 



“Jason Gray: In My Weaknesses, God’s Strength is Perfected”



Later, in number 279, Pope Francis tell us,

“Because we do not always see these seeds growing, we need an interior certainty, a conviction that God is able to act in every situation, even amid apparent setbacks: 'We have this treasure in earthen vessels' (2 Cor 4:7). This certainty is often called 'a sense of mystery'. It involves knowing with certitude that all those who entrust themselves to God in love will bear good fruit (cf. Jn 15:5). This fruitfulness is often invisible, elusive and unquantifiable. We can know quite well that our lives will be fruitful, without claiming to know how, or where, or when. We may be sure that none of our acts of love will be lost, nor will any of our acts of sincere concern for others. No single act of love for God will be lost, no generous effort is meaningless, no painful endurance is wasted.”