Today Pope Francis preached a homily on Christian joy during morning Mass for the Feast of the Visitation in the Domus Sanctae Marthae chapel. “Everything is joy,” Francis said. “But we Christians, we are not used to talking about joy, about happiness. I think that many times we prefer complaints! What is joy? The key to understanding this joy is in the Gospel: ‘Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit’. What gives us joy is the Holy Spirit.”
L’Osservatore Romano has more from the Holy Father’s homily:
“It is the Spirit who guides us. He is the author of joy, the creator of joy, and this joy of the Holy Spirit gives us true Christian freedom. Without joy we Christians cannot become free. We become slaves to our sorrows.”
The Pope then quoted “the great Pope Paul VI”, recalling when he said that “you cannot advance the Gospel with sad, hopeless, discouraged Christians. You cannot.” Sometimes Christians, instead of showing the joy of one who goes “to praise God,” have a face as if attending “a funeral procession.” Christian joy comes from praising God. “But what does it mean to praise God?” asked the Pope. It is “to come out of oneself and praise him freely, as the grace he gives to us is free,” he explained.
He went on to say that “if you do not praise God and do not know how to graciously waste time praising him, of course the Mass seems long! But if you go with this attitude of joy, praising God, this is beautiful.” Moreover, “eternity will be this: praising God. But this will not be boring, it will be wonderful. This joy makes us free.”
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