This morning in the chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis reflected on joy of being Christian and the image of Christ’s union with the Church in the Sacrament of Marriage during morning Mass.
The Holy Father reflected on the Gospel of the day, which recalled Christ’s response to the Pharisees and scribes who complained of Jesus’ disciples who ate and drank compared to John the Baptist’s disciples often fasted.
“When the bridegroom is present, there can be no fasting, no sadness,” the Holy Father stressed. The Pope stated that Christ’s example of marriage was to mirror the relationship and union He has with the Church.
“I think that precisely this is the most profound reason for which the Church has such great care for the Sacrament of Marriage and calls it ‘great sacrament’ – for it is truly the image of the union of Christ with His Church,” Pope Francis told the faithful present.
The Pope went on to speak of joy is the the fundamental aspect of Christian. The example of marriage conjures up two attitudes that Christians should have, the first of them being joy. “The Christian is fundamentally joyful,” the Pope said. “For this reason, at the end of the Gospel, when they bring the wine, when he speaks of wine, it makes me think of the wedding at Cana – and for this reason Jesus works His miracle – this is why Our Lady, when she realized that there was no more wine… but if there is no wine there is no party … imagining that the wedding feast might therefore end with the drinking of tea or juice: it would not do … it is a feast, and Our Lady asks for the miracle. Such is the Christian life. The Christian life has this joyfulness of spirit, a joyfulness of heart. “
“[To be sure],” he continued, “there are truly moments of crucifixion, moments of pain – but there is ever that profound peace of joy, because Christian life is lived as a celebration, like the nuptial union of Christ with the Church.”
Pope Francis said that the second attitude is recognizing Christ as the One Bridegroom. “He is, always faithful, and asks fidelity of us,” Pope Francis said. “This is why when we desire, to have a little party of our own, which is not that great feast, it does not do. He went on to say that the Lord tells us that we cannot serve two masters: one either serves God, or the world.”
“This is the second Christian attitude: to recognize Jesus as the whole, the center, the totality. But we will always be tempted to cast this newness of the Gospel, this new wine, into old attitudes … It is sin, we are all sinners. Only recognise it: ‘This is a sin.’ Do not say this goes with this. No! The old wineskins cannot hold the new wine. This is the novelty of the Gospel. Jesus is the bridegroom, the bridegroom who weds the Church, the groom who loves the Church, who gives his life for the Church. Jesus is the one who makes this wedding feast! Jesus asks us the joy of festivity, the joy of being Christians. He also asks of us the all: it’s all Him. If we have something that is not of Him, repent, ask for forgiveness and move on. May the Lord give us, to all of us, the grace always to have this joy, as if we were attending a wedding. And also have this faithfulness to the only bridegroom, who is the Lord,” the Holy Father concluded.