2013-05-31 16:19:31

Pope says sad Christians cannot preach the Gospel

31 May, 2013 - Pope Francis urged Christians to have joyful hearts and not put on long faces such as at funerals, saying, sad, disheartened or discouraged followers of Christ cannot proclaim the Gospel. The Pope’s remark came in his homily at Friday’s morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta residence in the Vatican. He was reflecting on the theme of joy in the day’s Mass readings, particularly the Gospel reading about Mary’s visit to her pregnant cousin, Elisabeth whose baby leaped for joy in her womb, followed by Mary’s joyful ‘Magnificat.’ "It all speaks of joy, the joy that is celebration," the Pope said, yet "we Christians are not so accustomed to speak of joy, of happiness.” "I think often we prefer to complain". Instead, it is the Holy Spirit, the author and creator of joy that gives us joy. The Pope said without the joy of the Holy Spirit we Christians cannot become free, we become slaves to our sorrows. Often, he noted, Christians behave as if they were going to a funeral procession rather than to praise God. He asked those present whether they praise God, or simply petitioned and thanked Him. Some complain of the Mass being too long, but the Pope said if we don’t come out to praise God we will never experience the bliss of praising God.

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