We have a mission in the Church. We cannot keep the good news - that Jesus Christ is risen – to ourselves. We must be apostles of the risen Lord. Do I spread the joy of the Resurrection? Am I ashamed of the crucified Lord? Am I still worried about what others are going to think about me? Or do I love my Lord in such a way that I don´t care at all what other people think about me? If my Lord is happy, nothing else matters. I need to be faithful to the Lord, preaching the Gospel with my life and with my word.
Speaking to young people in Toronto, St. John Paul II exclaimed, “Many and enticing are the voices that call out to you from all sides: many of these voices speak to you of a joy that can be had with money, with success, with power. Mostly they propose a joy that comes with the superficial and fleeting pleasure of the senses.” Do not listen to them. Listen to the voice of Jesus in the depths of your hearts. His words tell you who you are a Christians. They tell you what you must do to remain in his love. Jesus offers one thing the spirit of the world offers another. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Give me at least, Lord, the desire to begin searching for you. Like Mary Magdalene, when you start to search, you are sure to find Him. You never know when Jesus is going to give you a grace. He looks, he watches, he waits. We have to be prepared for when Jesus wants to reveal himself to us. Saint John Paul II said, “To contemplate Christ involves being able to recognize Him wherever he manifests himself, in His many forms of presence, but, above all, in the living Sacrament of His Body and Blood.”
As we begin to realize that we are sinners and see the dark side of our souls, we also find Jesus Christ. As the letter to the Hebrews encourages us, we can approach the throne of mercy, which is Jesus Crucified, with trust. We can go to Him with trust and confidence, knowing that we will be forgiven. He is a merciful High Priest because he has suffered all the limitations of our human nature and went through death to destroy death. He is merciful, faithful, and trustworthy. Look at the cross; enter into His heart, and take the decision to die to all that is not worthy of our dignity as children of God.
When we get to heaven and we see the fruit of crosses we accepted, we are going to say to ourselves, “Why did I not suffer more? Why did I not trust you more, Lord? Why did I not make more sacrifices?” Who runs from the cross? Satan runs from the cross. He can’t stand the cross because he knows the cross is the place where he has been defeated. If Satan has been defeated through the cross, we should be running to the cross, because if we run to the cross, we know that there we will obtain our victory.
We cannot find our security here in this world. In our relationship with the things of this world, we must remember that they are temporal and passing. We must base our lives on everlasting realities, on eternal life. But the presence of God in us must lead us to transform this world according to the Kingdom of God. Living our faith does not mean forgetting about daily life, on the contrary, the presence of God in our lives must transform everything around us.
There is a great difference between a soul in the state of grace and a soul in sin. The difference is abysmal; it’s greater than the distance between a soul in the state of grace and a soul in Heaven. Grace is the beginning of glory, for what you now possess in the state of grace is what you will have in Heaven. Only that, here we live by faith and in Heaven the realities of the faith will be visible. Heaven begins here. When you are in the state of grace, Heaven is in you.
It has been said that the Garden of Gethsemane is the heart of the passion and the passion of the heart. The Lord is not undergoing physical suffering but primarily spiritual suffering. We must try to enter into the heart of Jesus, His interior suffering, into the human heart of a divine person. His infinite love and His infinite suffering are difficult for us to understand. Judas will betray him, Peter will deny Him, His disciples will abandon Him, and this is the cause of His pain and sadness. He knows what is He is about to undergo, the Son of God is going to take all the sins of humanity upon His shoulders.
God is searching for you, thirsting for you, for a relationship with you in prayer. Prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we might thirst for Him. Prayer is a gift from God. We cannot pray by ourselves, we need the grace of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that humility is the foundation of prayer; we cannot be demanding of God. As St. Augustine says, “Man is a beggar before God.” And this should be our attitude, to be a beggar before God, to realize that He is passing by us, and to call out to Him, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”
The transmission of the faith not only brings light to men and women in every place; it travels through time, passing from one generation to another. Because faith is born of an encounter which takes place in history and lights up our journey through time, it must be passed on in every age. It is through an unbroken chain of witnesses that we come to see the face of Jesus. But how is this possible? How can we be certain, after all these centuries, that we have encountered the "real Jesus"? Were we merely isolated individuals, were our starting point simply our own individual ego seeking in itself the basis of absolutely sure knowledge, a certainty of this sort would be impossible. I cannot possibly verify for myself something which happened so long ago. But this is not the only way we attain knowledge. Faith’s past, that act of Jesus’ love which brought new life to the world, comes down to us through the memory of others — witnesses — and is kept alive in that one remembering subject which is the Church (Lumen Fidei, 38)
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