IN SANTA MARTA THE PONTIFF: “A COMMUNITY WITHOUT JOY IS NOT CHRISTIAN” Basing Hmself on the liturgy of the day, Pope Francesco urges the faithful to ask the gift and the grace of courage

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“Fear” and “joy” are the two words on which the Pontiff today has based His reflections during the homily at ‘Casa Santa Marta.’ Basing Himself on the liturgy of the day,  Francis has spoken about how fear is an attitude that  “weakens  and diminishes us,” but especially “paralyses us”. A person that lives conditioned by fear, said the Holy Father,” is self-centred and lives with the fear that something bad may occur to him.”  A Christian who lives in this way has not captured the message of Jesus when He said to Paul: “Have no fear and keep talking”.

The timorous attitude is typical of those who are not free, because fear in the long run becomes a vice and as such can harm the person.  For this reason, the Pope exhorts  us to feel free to ask the Holy Spirit, the grace of courage “. The Pope then explained that an entire group too can get sick: “there are communities full of fear, who always play safe ‘ No, No, don’t do this, no, that you can not … ‘. It seems that they have written on the door ‘ banned ‘. ” To avoid any misunderstanding, Pope Francis pointed out the difference between being afraid as compared to  having  “fear of God”. The latter ” is Holy, it is the fear of adoration before the Lord, it is a virtue that fulfils the mission of God”.

The ponderings of the Pope went on to explain the second word suggested in the liturgy. In the Gospel according to St.  John,  Jesus said to His disciples: “no one will take away your joy”. In sad moments this joy turns into peace, ” fun, instead, when  in pain becomes darkness, it becomes dark. A Christian, without joy is not a Christian. A Christian who has lived continuously in sadness, is not a Christian. And a Christian who, when is put to the test, of diseases and many difficulties, loses his peace,  the peace, then he has missed out on something “.

 This joy, says the Pope, is a gift of the Holy Spirit which speaks down deep int the soul of man:“the Lord is victorious, the Lord reigns, the Lord sits  at the right hand of His Father, the Lord has looked on me, He has sent me and given me His grace, He has made me the son of His Father. And ”that is the Christian joy “. Pope Francis concluded praying :  “Lord lift our spirits. Take away all fear and donate to us joy and peace. ”

Translation by Marina Stronati

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