No surprise that Pope Francis would write extensively about “Joy And A Sense Of Humor,” the topic of the next several paragraphs.
122. Far from being timid, morose, acerbic or melancholy, or putting on a dreary face, the saints are joyful and full of good humor. Though completely realistic, they radiate a positive and hopeful spirit.
The angelic doctor weighs in for us:
The Christian life is “joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17), for “the necessary result of the love of charity is joy; since every lover rejoices at being united to the beloved… the effect of charity is joy”.[Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 70, a. 3] Having received the beautiful gift of God’s word, we embrace it “in much affliction, with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6). If we allow the Lord to draw us out of our shell and change our lives, then we can do as Saint Paul tells us: “Rejoice in the Lord always; I say it again, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).
In Pope Francis’ experience as a Jesuit, he would have encountered joy as a gift of the final days of the Spiritual Exercises. A believer who sees herself or himself as close to Jesus will enter into the events of his life. Just as we can experience sorrow for sin, and deep emotions for the Passion, so too we will find ourselves enveloped in the joy of the Resurrection, and joy for the mission to which we are called.