In his Friday morning Mass, Pope Francis talked about the characteristics Christians should embrace and which should be rejected. Joy, he explained is a must and fear only triggers sickness.
"There are fearful communities, that always go on the safe side. They will say ‘No, no, we aren’t doing this… No, no, this can’t be done and that can’t be done.’ It seems they have written on the entrance: ‘Forbidden.’ Everything is forbidden because of fear. And you enter into this community and the air is stale, because it's a sick community. Fear makes a community sick.”
The Pope then explained that a Christian without joy is not a true Christian, for someone who is constantly sad has not understood the message of Jesus.
SUMMARY OF POPE'S HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)
"Fear, the Pope explained, must be distinguished from the "fear of the Lord,” which is holy. The fear or awe of adoration before the Lord, the fear of God is a virtue. But the fear of God does not diminish, does not weaken, does paralyze: it carries us forward, to the mission the Lord gives us.
The other word of the liturgy is "joy.” "No one can take away your joy” Jesus tells us. And, the Pope said, "in the saddest moments, in moments of sorrow” joy "brings peace.” Instead "a happy event, in a moment of sorrow becomes obscure, becomes dark. A Christian without joy is not Christian. A Christian who continually lives in sadness is not Christian. And a Christian who, in the moment of trial, of illness, of so many difficulties, loses peace – something is lacking in him.”
"Christian joy is not simply enjoyment, is not a fleeting cheerfulness. Christian joy is a gift, it is a gift of the Holy Spirit. And having a heart that is always joyful because the Lord has triumphed, the Lord reigns, the Lord is at the right hand of the Father, the Lord has looked upon me and called me and has given me His grace, and has made me a Son of the Father… That is Christian joy. A Christian lives in joy.”