By Deborah Castellano Lubov

We are happy and fruitful, when we are truly ‘with’ God…

According to Vatican News, Pope Francis suggested this during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, today, Jan. 28, as he reflected on today’s First Reading, which speaks of the joy with which David and all the people of Israel were celebrating the return of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem following its capture.

The people felt that God was close to them and they celebrated, the Pope said, pointing out that King David was leading the procession. He also danced expressing his joy, like the others, without inhibitions.

“David loves the Lord, and he is happy and joyful to bring back the ark of the Lord with dancing and singing like all the people,” the Holy Father noted.

Never, Francis suggested to the faithful, be ashamed of expressing their joy of meeting God and feeling His closeness. Only evangelizers full of joy, the Pontiff said, will bring the Gospel forward.

The Pope pointed out that we also experience this joy and celebrate when “when we are with the Lord” in our parishes or villages.

Turning back to David’s story, the Pope said that one of his wives, Michal, Saul’s daughter, reproached him saying it was inappropriate that he was celebrating like the people. David, Francis recalled, explained to Michal that he was rejoicing in the Lord, as the ark was back home. Yet, Michal, the Pope remember, was punished for this and did not bear children.

“Without joy in the heart,” he said, “a Christian is not fruitful.”

In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi of his predecessor, Saint Pope Paul VI said–Pope Francis cited–“the Gospel will not go forward with boring, bitter evangelizers.”

“It will only go forward,” he underscored, “with joyful evangelizers, full of life.”

Pope Francis concluded, urging faithful to live the joy of receiving the Word of God, “the joy of being Christians, the joy of going ahead, the ability to celebrate without being ashamed and not being like Michal, formal Christians, prisoners of formalities.”

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Read More: Vatican News