Over the past several years, we have excerpted the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium. Last week’s column was the last of this document from Pope Francis.

Now, we turn to another Apostolic Exhortation that was released earlier this year, Gaudete et Exsultate: “Rejoice and be glad” Jesus tells those persecuted or humiliated for his sake. The Lord asks everything of us and in return he offers us true life, the happiness for which we were created. He wants us to be saints and not to settle for a bland and mediocre existence. The call to holiness is present in various ways from the very first pages of the Bible. We see it expressed in the Lord’s words to Abraham, “Walk before me, and be blameless.”

My modest goal is to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time with all its risks, challenges, and opportunities. For the Lord has chosen each one of us “to be holy and blameless before him in love.”

(Each week there will be sections from Gaudete et Exsultate.)