Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - There
are Christians who are afraid of the joy of the Resurrection , "we could say
in good humour that they are bat-like Christians who prefer the shadows to the
light of the Lord's presence". This was Pope Francis message during Mass c this
morning at Casa Santa Marta, commenting on today's Gospel passage that recounts
the appearance of the risen Jesus to the apostles. But
the disciples instead of rejoicing are "shocked and frightened"
thinking "that they have seen a ghost".
The Pope, Vatican Radio reports, said Jesus tries to make them understand that what they see is reality, he invites them to touch his body, he asks for food. He wants to lead them to the "joy of the Resurrection, the joy of his presence among them". But the disciples - the Pope observes - "pout of their joy they did not believe, they could not believe, because they were afraid of joy".
"This is a Christian's disease. We are afraid of joy. It is better to think: 'Yes, yes, God exists, but He is there; Jesus is Risen and He is there'. Somewhat distant. We are afraid of being close to Jesus, because this gives us joy. This is why there are so many mournful Christians, right? Those whose lives seem to be a continuous funeral. They prefer sadness to joy. They prefer to move in the shadows, not in the light of joy, like those animals who only come out at night, not in the light of the day, who cannot see anything. Like bats. And with a little sense of humor we can say that there are Christians bats who prefer the shadows to the light of the presence of the Lord".
But "Jesus , by His Resurrection
- the Pope said - gives us joy: the joy of being Christians; the joy of following him closely; the
joy of travelling on the path of the Beatitudes, the joy of being with Him".
"Often we are either upset by this joy, or fearful or we think we have seen a ghost or believe that Jesus is just a way of acting: 'We are Christians so we must act like this'. But where is Jesus? 'No, Jesus is in Heaven'. Do you talk with Jesus? Do you say to Jesus: 'I believe that You are alive, that You are risen, that You're near me, You will never abandon me'? . The Christian life should be this: a dialogue with Jesus, because - this is true - Jesus is always with us, always with our problems, and our difficulties, with our good works".
How often are we Christians "joyful because we are afraid". Christians who "defeated" by the cross. "In my country there is a saying that goes like this: ' When you get burnt by hot milk, later, when you see a cow you start crying". These were burned by the drama of the Cross and said, ' No, let's stop here; He is in Heaven; that's all well and good, He is Risen fine! But its better that he doesn't come again because we couldn't handle it. We ask the Lord to do for all of us what he did for the disciples, who were afraid of joy: to open our mind: 'So, he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures'; that He opens our minds and helps us understand that He is a living reality, that He has a body, that He is with us and that He accompanies us and that He has won. We ask the Lord for the grace to not be afraid of joy".