Fr. Barron totally gets it:
What has been almost totally overlooked in all the attempts to dismiss, minimize, and explain away the pope’s emphasis on “he has sent me to proclaim good news to the poor” is the far greater fact that “he has sent me to proclaim good news to the poor”.
The title of the exhortation is, after all, “The Joy of the Good News”, not the Joy of Social Teaching” or “The Joy of Opposition to Abortion”. Francis, right in line with what he’s been saying all along is that the *core* of the Faith is the encounter with the person of the Risen Christ. Morals and ethics, important as they are, are not the heart of the faith and when we try to make them that we replace the Risen Christ with (another favorite theme of his) idols. The central mistake of Catholics here in America (and I’m as guilty as anybody) is that we keep straying from the good news of “Christ Jesus has been crucified and risen and as a result everything has changed” and keep buying into culture war narratives, economic theories, and political tribalisms as the Main Thing the gospel is about. Francis really gets that Jesus is the center of the good news: a “positive emergency” (love that!). So does Fr. Barron. Very refreshing to hear.