“There is no holiness without joy”, assures Pope Francis

The Pontiff explained that holiness “is above all the joyful discovery of being God’s beloved sons and daughters. And this fills you with joy. It is not a human achievement, it is a gift we receive.”

Vatican City (01/11/2021 8:45 PM, Gaudium Press) During the Angelus this Monday, November 1, Solemnity of All Saints, Pope Francis dealt with the Beatitudes, stressing that they “show us the path that leads to the Kingdom of God and to happiness.”

“Remember that there is no holiness without joy!”

The Holy Father explained that the Beatitudes are an announcement of unprecedented happiness and that Beatitude, holiness, is not a life plan made up only of effort and renunciation, but is above all the joyful discovery of being God’s beloved sons and daughters. And this fills you with joy. It is not a human achievement, it is a gift we receive: we are holy because God, who is the Holy One, comes to dwell in our lives. It is He who gives holiness to us. For this we are blessed!

Emphasizing that without joy, faith becomes a rigorous and oppressive exercise, and risks ailing with sadness. Let us consider this word: ailing with sadness. Francis invited the faithful to ask themselves, are we joyful Christians? Am I a joyful Christian or not? Do we spread joy or are we dull, sad people, with a funeral face? Remember that there is no holiness without joy!”

The Beatitudes are a prophecy of a new way of living

He then explained that the Beatitudes are addressed to the poor, the afflicted, the hungry for justice. It is a message that goes against the grain. Indeed, the world says that in order to have happiness you must be rich, powerful, always young and strong, and enjoy fame and success. Jesus overturns these criteria and makes a prophetic proclamation – and this is the prophetic dimension of holiness – the true fullness of life is achieved by following Jesus, by putting His Word into practice. And this means another poverty, that is, being poor inside, hollowing oneself to make room for God. 

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The Beatitudes, then, are the prophecy of a new humanity, of a new way of living: making oneself small and entrusting oneself to God, instead of prevailing over others; being meek, instead of seeking to impose oneself; practising mercy, instead of thinking only of oneself; committing oneself to justice and peace, instead of promoting injustice and inequality, he assured.

Where is the Holiness?

The Pontiff affirmed that “Holiness is accepting and putting into practice, with God’s help, this prophecy that revolutionizes the world”. And he invited us to ask ourselves: do I bear witness to the prophecy of Jesus? Do I express the prophetic spirit I received in Baptism? Or do I conform to the comforts of life and to my own laziness, assuming that everything is fine if it is fine with me? Do I bring to the world the joyful newness of Jesus’ prophecy or the usual complaints about what is wrong?

Finally, Pope Francis concluded the Angelus by wishing that Our Lady give us something of her soul, that blessed soul that joyfully magnified the Lord, who ‘has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree’” (cf. Lk 1:52).” (EPC)

Compiled by Gustavo Kralj

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