The Pope has invited Christians to transmit the joy of the Gospel and has condemned those who have a “funereal” and “saddened face” at the Angelus this Sunday of Advent.
“Am I a happy person, who knows how to convey the joy of being a Christian? Or do I not have the joy of faith? Others can say: if faith is so sad, perhaps it is better not to have it,” the pontiff claimed. during the Sunday Marian prayer.
Leaning on the balcony of his private study in the Vatican Apostolic Library, Francis pointed out that the “invitation to joy is characteristic of the Advent season.” In this way, he pointed out that “waiting for the birth of Jesus is joyous” as when waiting “for a visit from a friend or relative whom we love and have not seen for a long time.” And he added: “That dimension of waiting emerges especially today, the third Sunday, which opens with the exhortation of Saint Paul: ‘Rejoice always in the Lord'”.
Thus, the Pope recalled that “once a philosopher said: I do not understand how you can believe today. Those who say they believe have a somewhat funereal face, they do not bear witness to the joy of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” He has also pointed out that “there are Christians with that slightly saddened, funereal face. Christ has risen, he loves you and you have no joy.”
On the other hand, Francis has pointed out that today’s Gospel presents the biblical character who, “without being the Virgin or Saint Joseph, lived first and foremost the expectation of the Messiah and the joy of seeing him arrive: John the Baptist.” He is also “the first witness of Jesus, in word and in the gift of life, who dedicated his life to announcing that Jesus was the Christ.” Being a leader of his time, “he did not give in for an instant to the temptation to focus attention on himself. Like the Virgin, he always points to the Lord.”
“Here is the first lesson of Christian joy”, Francis asserted, “which is to de-center oneself in order to focus on Jesus.” However, “this is not the alignment, because He is the light of the life of every man and every woman who comes to this world. It is a love that calls me out of myself, not to lose myself, but to find myself while I seek the good of the other “.
“The path of joy is not easy, it is not a walk,” he admitted. But “following John the Baptist is the example for people who are dedicated to proclaiming Jesus.” Because joy, ultimately, “is guiding people towards Jesus, not towards oneself”.