L'Osservatore Romano

Pope's Morning Homily: God Gives Joy Nobody Can Take Away

At Casa Santa Marta, Francis Says Christians Don’t ‘Anesthetize’ Pain But Live Through It

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Christians do not “anesthetize” or numb pain, but live through it aware that God gives us a joy that nobody can take away.
According to Vatican Radio, this was at the heart of Pope Francis’ homily this morning during his Mass at Casa Santa Marta.
The Holy Father drew his inspiration from the day’s reading where Jesus warns his disciples of a coming sadness, but says it will be transformed later into a cry of joy, and urged faithful to always maintain their joy and hope, even when in times of suffering.
Specifically, the Argentine Pontiff used the example of a woman in labour.
“She’s in pain because her time has come, but when she gives birth to her baby she no longer remembers the suffering.”  She carries on hoping throughout the pain, and then she rejoices.
“This is (the impact of) what joy and hope together can have on our lives, when we are facing tribulations, when we have problems, when we are suffering.  It is not an anesthesia.  Pain is pain but if lived through with joy and hope it will open the door for you to the joy of a new being.
“This image of the Lord should give us great hope amidst our difficulties: difficulties that often are awful, horrible difficulties that can even make us doubt our faith… But with joy and hope we journey forward because after this tempest a new man arrives, just like with a woman giving birth. And Jesus tells us that this is a lasting joy and hope that will not go away.”

Open Self to Joy, Hope

Francis explained that the joy and hope of a Christian are always tied together and they should not be confused with simple happiness or optimism.
“A joy without hope is just enjoyment, a temporary happiness.  A hope without joy is not hope and doesn’t extend beyond a healthy optimism.
“Joy and hope always journey together and both of them create this explosion that the Church in her liturgy almost cries out — allow me to say the word — without shame: ‘Rejoice for your Church!, Rejoice – without  formality.  Because when there is a strong joy, there’s no formality, just joy.”
Joy and hope, the Pope stressed, depend upon each other to flourish and urged Christians to open out towards others with these two virtues.

A Joy That Lasts

“Joyful people do not stay closed in on themselves: hope makes you open outwards, it is just like an anchor on the shore of heaven that pulls us up and out. Open out from ourselves, with joy and hope.”
Human joy can be taken away at any time, the Pope warned, but the joy Jesus gives us is everlasting and nobody can take it away from us
“It remains,” Pope Francis underscored, “even during our darkest moments.”
Readings provided by the US bishops’ conference:

Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 295

Reading 1 ACTS 18:9-18

One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision,
“Do not be afraid.
Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you.
No one will attack and harm you,
for I have many people in this city.”
He settled there for a year and a half
and taught the word of God among them.But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia,
the Jews rose up together against Paul
and brought him to the tribunal, saying,
“This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law.”
When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews,
“If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud,
I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews;
but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles
and your own law, see to it yourselves.
I do not wish to be a judge of such matters.”
And he drove them away from the tribunal.
They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official,
and beat him in full view of the tribunal.
But none of this was of concern to Gallio.
Paul remained for quite some time,
and after saying farewell to the brothers he sailed for Syria,
together with Priscilla and Aquila.
At Cenchreae he had shaved his head because he had taken a vow.

Responsorial Psalm PS 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (8a) God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R. God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.
He brings people under us;
nations under our feet.
He chooses for us our inheritance,
the glory of Jacob, whom he loves.
R. God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R. God is king of all the earth.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia SEE LK 24:46, 26

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead,
and so enter into his glory.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 16:20-23

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn,
while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.
When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived;
but when she has given birth to a child,
she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy
that a child has been born into the world.
So you also are now in anguish.
But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one will take your joy away from you.
On that day you will not question me about anything.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”
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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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