Canonizations: the pope invites us to “always see Jesus with others” – ZENIT

We hear these words that Jesus spoke to his disciples, before leaving this world to go to the Father, words that tell us what it means to be a Christian: “As I have loved you, so you must love one another. you ”(jn 13, 34). This is the testament that Christ left us, the basic criterion for recognizing whether we are truly his disciples or not: the commandment of love. We will discuss two important elements of this commandment: Jesus’ love for us – how I love you – and the love he asks us to live – love for each other.

First of all, how I love you. How does Jesus love us? To the end, to the total gift of himself. It is remarkable to note that he uttered these words on a dark night, when the atmosphere of the Cenacle was filled with emotion and anxiety: emotion because the Master was about to say goodbye to his disciples, anxiety because he had announced that one of them is to betray him. We can imagine how much pain Jesus endured in his soul, what darkness gathered in the hearts of the apostles, and how bitter it was to see Judas leave the room to enter the night of betrayal, after receiving the mouthpiece. which the Master dipped for him. And it was at the very moment of the betrayal that Jesus proved his love for himself. Because, in the darkness and the storms of life, that is the main thing: God loves us.

This proclamation, brethren, must be at the center of the profession and the expression of our faith: “It is not we who love God, but he who loves us” (1Jn 4, 10). Let us not forget this. At the center, it is not our capacity, our merits, but the unconditional and unconditional love of God, which we do not deserve. In the beginning of our Christianity, there were no doctrines or practices, but the wonder of discovering ourselves to be loved, before any response from us. While the world often wants to convince us that we are worthless when we can produce results, the Gospel reminds us of the truth of life: we are loved. And this is our value: we are loved. One contemporary spiritual teacher wrote, “Even before anyone has seen us, we have been seen by the loving eyes of God. Even before we could hear our cries or laughter, we were already heard by our God who was listening to us. Even before anyone in this world speaks to us, the voice of eternal love speaks to us ”(H. Nouwen, Feel free to observe, Brescia 1997, p. 50). He loved us at first, he was waiting for us. He loves us, he continues to love us. And that is who we are: loved by God. This is our strength: loved by God.

This fact begs us to be converted to the idea that we have always had holiness. Sometimes, by putting too much emphasis on striving to do good deeds, we create a value of holiness based on ourselves, on personal heroism, on the capacity to resist, on self-sacrifice to earn a reward. It is also sometimes Pelagian a vision of life, of holiness. Thus we make holiness an unattainable goal, we separate it from everyday life instead of seeking and accepting it in everyday life, in the dust of the streets, in the endeavors of concrete life and , as Teresa of Avila told her sisters. , “Among the kitchen pots”. To be disciples of Jesus and to walk the path of holiness is above all to allow oneself to be changed through the power of God’s love. Let us not forget the supremacy of God over self, of the Spirit over the flesh, of grace over works. Sometimes we give more weight, more importance to ourselves, the flesh and the deeds. No: the supremacy of God over self, the supremacy of the Spirit over the flesh, the supremacy of grace over works.

The love we receive from the Lord is the force that changes our lives: it expands our hearts and inspires us to love. This is why Jesus said – and this is the second aspect – “as I have loved you, you must also love one another“. it As not just an invitation to imitate the love of Jesus; it means that we can love only because he loves us, because he gives his Spirit into our hearts, the Spirit of holiness, the love that heals and transforms us. This is why we can make choices and perform acts of love in every situation and with every brother and sister we meet, because we are loved and we have the strength to love. As much as I love, I can love. Often, the love I realized was united with Jesus for me: “like this”. As much as he loves me, so can I love. The Christian life is so simple, so simple! We made it more complicated, with a lot of things, but it was very simple.

And, concretely, what does it mean to live this love? Before we leave this commandment, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples; after announcing this, he committed himself to the tree of the cross. Love means this: to serve and give life. In service, that is, do not put your own interests first; detox from the poisons of greed and competition; fighting cancer of indifference and larval self-referentiality; share the charisms and gifts God has given us. Ask yourself concretely: “What am I doing for others? It is to love, and to live daily in the spirit of service, with love and without shouting, without claiming whatever.

and give his life, not to be humbled to offer something, as a part of the things of another, to another, but to give of oneself. I like to ask people who ask me for advice: “Tell me, do you give alms?” – “Yes, Father, I give alms to the poor” – “And when you give alms, do you touch the hand of man, or do you pass the alms and do it for yourself? And they blushed: “No, I won’t touch”. “When you give alms, do you look the person you are helping in the eye or do you turn away?” – “I’m not looking”. Touch and see, touch and see the suffering flesh of Christ in our brethren. This is very important. It gives life. Holiness is not composed of a few heroic acts, but of a great daily love. “Are you a consecrated person or a consecrated person? – there are many of them here now – Sanctify by living your commitment with joy. Are you married or unmarried? Sanctify and be holy by loving and caring for your husband or wife, as Christ did in the Church. Are you a worker or a working woman? Sanctify by faithfully and competently doing your duty to serve your brethren, and by fighting for the justice of your fellows, that they may not remain unemployed, that they may always have the right salary. Are you a father, mother, grandfather or grandmother? Be sanctified by patiently teaching children to follow Jesus. Tell me, do you have authority? – and here there are so many people with authority – I ask you: do you have authority? Sanctify by fighting for the common good and rejecting your personal interests ”(cf. Apostolic Exhortation). Gaudete and Rejoicing, dili. 14). This is the way to holiness, very simple! Always look to Jesus in others.

To serve the Gospel and the brethren, to sacrifice life without return-that is the secret: to sacrifice without return-, without seeking worldly glory: we are also called to it. Our fellow travelers, now canonized, live holiness in this way: by accepting their vocation with enthusiasm-as priests, some as consecrated people, others as laity-they offer their themselves in the Gospel, they discovered joy without comparison and they became radiant. reflections of the Lord on history. He was a saint: a brilliant reflection on the Lord of history. Let us do the same: the path to holiness is not closed, it is universal, it is a call for all of us, it begins with Baptism, it is not closed. Let us do the same, because each of us is called to holiness, to a unique and unchanging holiness. Holiness is always original, as Blessed Carlo Acutis said: the photocopy of holiness does not exist, holiness is original, it is mine, yours, in each of us. It is unique and non-reproducible. Yes, the Lord has a plan of love for each of us, he has a dream for your life, for my life, for the life of each of us. What do you want me to tell you? And bring it forward with joy. Thanks.

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