Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Joy of the Gospel

Evangelii Gaudium or The Joy of the Gospel was an apostolic exhortation delivered by Pope Francis on November 24, 2013, which was the Solemnity of Christ the King and the conclusion of the Year of Faith. In the introduction, Pope Francis gives Biblical examples showing the relationship between the joy of the Christian faith and the joy of missionary work. The rest of the exhortation is divided into five chapters:
  1. The Church's Missionary Transformation
  2. Amid the Crisis of Communal Commitment
  3. The Proclamation of the Gospel
  4. The Social Dimensions of Evangelization
  5. Spirit-filled Evangelizers
Looking at the numbers of this document, it is clearly a large document. It is 47,560 words. In this glut of words, Pope Francis uses the word "love" 154 times, "joy" 109 times, "the poor" 91 times, "peace" 58 times, "justice" 37 times, and "common good" 15 times. These figures were taken from Wikipedia. I am not going to analyze the words in this document. More brilliant minds than mine have done so. Instead, I am going to briefly compare two editions released by two different publishers.

The Image Books edition screams papal edition with its bright white cover. The unique features of this books are as follows. 1. It is a hardcover, so you know it will last longer and have shelf appeal. 2. It is deckle edged, which gives it a unique look. 3. It has a Foreword written by Fr. Robert Barron and an Afterword by Fr. James Martin. 4. The notes are at the bottom of the appropriate page and not at the end like normally issued by the Vatican. The only weird thing is the Table of Contents of the actual document (not the book) is in the back instead of the front and listed as an Index. 

The Word Among Us edition is a paperback version like, the one released by the USCCB. Because of this, it is slightly less expensive than the hardcover edition listed above. The cover is similar to other Word Among Us papal document releases, including Lumen FideiVerbum Domini, and Evangelii Nuntiandi. This creates an appealing looking on your shelf to have these important documents similar in look. The great part of this book and what sets it apart is the study guide. This makes it ideal for individual study or small group study.

So which edition should you get? The price is very similar, so you'll have to decide which features are most important to you. Perhaps, you're like me and will get both of them. The important thing is to read the words of our Holy Father, because they do contain a great deal of truth in them. Enter to win a copy here.

These books were provided to me for free by Image Books and Word Among Us Press. If you found this comparison helpful, click here and/or here and hit Yes!