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Pope Francis: at Santa Marta, a Christian is “a man of joy”, do not seek happiness in wealth

“A Christian is a man or a woman of joy, joy in the Lord; a man or a woman of wonder”. “Happiness is not to be sought in all those things that in the end make us sad: things that are very promising, but will not give us anything”, such as wealth. Pope Francis said this during the homily of the Mass he celebrated at Santa Marta today, in which he stressed that “there is no Christian without joy”: “But Father, I have seen many of them! They are not Christians! They say they are Christians, but they are not! They lack something”. “The identity card of a Christian is joy, the joy of the Gospel, the joy of having been chosen by Jesus, saved by Jesus, regenerated by Jesus”, Pope Francis explained. “The joy of the hope that Jesus is waiting for us, that joy which – even in the trials and sufferings of this life – is expressed in a different way which is peace, in the certainty that Jesus accompanies us and is with us”. “A Christian – he added – nurtures this joy with his/her trust in God. God always remembers his Covenant”. And we, “Christians, know that we are remembered by God who loves us, accompanies us and is waiting for us. This is the joy” of the Christian. Commenting on the Gospel account of Jesus’ encounter with the rich man, the Pope noted that the latter “could not open his heart to joy and chose sadness instead, because he had great wealth”: “he was attached to his wealth! Jesus has told us that we cannot serve two masters: either we serve the Lord or we serve wealth. Wealth is not bad in itself: but serving wealth is evil! That poor man went away sad…”. “When we see people in our parishes, in our communities, in our institutions who say they are Christians and want to be Christians but are sad, then there is something wrong going on there”, Pope Francis warned.

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