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At Gaudete Sunday audience, Pope says Church is 'house of joy'

Catholic World News - December 16, 2013

The Church is “not a haven for sad people,” Pope Francis told his midday audience on Gaudete Sunday, December 15. “The Church is the house of joy!”

The joy of the Gospel message, the Pope said, stems from “the knowledge that we are wanted and loved by God.” God stands by us, he continued, in spite of our own weaknesses. When we fail, “we can always start afresh,” the Pope said. Thus the joy of the Christian “stands up to the test,” the Holy Father said. Since Jesus is the source of our joy, he added, sorrow is a clue that someone “has turned away from Jesus.”

At the end of his audience, the Pope fulfilled an old Roman tradition by blessing the figurines of the baby Jesus, to be used in family Christmas crèches. Thousands of young Italian brought the figurines to St. Peter’s Square for the papal blessing, which is given each year on Gaudete Sunday.

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