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Joy must be a characteristic of Christians, but “the journey of joy is not a walk in the park. It takes work to always be joyful,” said Pope Francis before leading the midday Angelus on Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday, December 13.
The pope noted how our Christian joy comes from one thing: the closeness of Jesus.
The closer the Lord is to us, the more joy we feel; the farther away he is, the more sadness we feel. This is a rule for Christians.
Pope Francis warned against failing to transmit this joy, and instead wearing a “funeral face, a face of sadness.”
But how can we be sad? “Christ is risen! Christ loves you! And you have no joy? Let us think a bit about this and let us ask: ‘Do I have joy because the Lord is close to me, because the Lord loves me, because the Lord has redeemed me?'”
The pope insisted that “joy must be the characteristic of our faith. And in dark moments, that inner joy, of knowing that the Lord is with me, that the Lord is with us, that the Lord is Risen. The Lord! The Lord! The Lord! This is the center of our life, and this is the center of our joy.”
Think well today: How do I behave? Am I a joyful person who knows how to transmit the joy of being Christian, or am I always like those sad people, as I said before, who seem to be at a funeral wake? If I do not have the joy of my faith, I cannot bear witness and others will say: “But if faith is so sad, it is better not to have it.”
The Holy Father concluded by saying that “we see all of this fully realized in the Virgin Mary: She silently awaited God’s Word of salvation; she welcomed it; she listened to it; she conceived it. In her, God became close. This is why the Church calls Mary a ‘Cause of our joy.'”
Pope’s advice for parish workers: Don’t take your coffee with vinegar!