“Holiness does not consist of some heroic deed, but of much daily love,” His Holiness Pope Francis said in his sermon, presiding over the Divine Liturgy during which he declared ten blessed saints.
His Holiness Pope Francis presided over a Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning in which he declared ten blessed: Titus Brandsma, Lazaro, better known as Devasahayam, Cesar de Boss, Luigi Maria Palazzolo, Giustino Maria Rossolillo, Charles de Foucault, Marie Riviere, Maria Francesca Jesus Robato, Maria Jesus Santocanal. and Maria Dominica Mantovani. On this occasion, the Holy Father delivered a sermon in which he said that we heard of the words that Jesus gave to his disciples before he passed from this world to the Father, words that say what it means to be a Christian. to be: “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” This is the commandment that Christ has left us, the basic criterion for whether we are really His disciples or not: the commandment of love. Let us dwell on the two essential elements of this commandment: Christ’s love for us – as I have loved you – and the love he asks of us to live – that you also love one another.
First, as I loved you, Pope Francis continued. How did Jesus love us? To the end, to the full gift of self. It is remarkable that he said these words on a dark night, while the air in the attic was filled with passion and anxiety: emotions because the Master was about to greet his disciples, and anxiety because he had announced to them that one of them would betray him. We can imagine the pain that Jesus bore in his soul, and what darkness fell on the hearts of the apostles, and what bitterness they saw from Judas who, after taking the piece that the Master had baptized him, out of the room went out to enter. the night of betrayal. And just at the hour of betrayal, Jesus confirmed his love for his disciples. For in the darkness and the storms of life is what is necessary: God loves us.
The Holy Father added, “Brothers and sisters, let this statement be central to our proclamation and our life for the faith:” It is not we who have loved God, but He has loved us. ” We never forget it. At the center is not our skill and our merits, but God’s unconditional and free love, which we have not earned. In the beginning of our Christianity there are no confessions and deeds, but the surprise of discovering that we are loved, before any answer from us. While the world often wants to convince us that we have no value unless we get results, the Bible reminds us of the truth of life: we are loved. Thus one of the spiritual teachers of our time wrote: “Before anyone saw us, God saw us with his loving eyes. Before anyone heard us crying or laughing, we heard our God all paying attention to us. Before anyone in this world. for us was the voice of love The Eternal speaks to us. “
This fact requires that we radically transform the idea of holiness we often have, Pope Francis continued. Sometimes, by insisting on our efforts to do good deeds, we have created a model of holiness based on ourselves, on our personal heroism, on our ability to give up and to sacrifice for a prize. to win. So our holiness has made it a difficult goal by separating it from everyday life instead of seeking it and embracing it in everyday life, in the dust of the road, in the tangible difficulties of life, and as such used the Holy Teresa of Avila to say to her sisters, “between the kitchen utensils”. To be disciples of Jesus and to walk the path of holiness is first to let us be changed by the power of God’s love. Thus we must never forget God’s priority over the “I,” the soul over the body, and grace over works.
The Pope added that the love we receive from the Lord is the power that transforms our lives: it expands our hearts and prepares us to love. That is why Jesus says – and here is the second aspect – “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” So it is not just an invitation to follow Jesus’ love, but it means that we can only love because He loved us, and because He gives our hearts His Spirit, the Spirit of holiness, the love we have. heal and transform. Therefore, we can make choices and do acts of love in all situations and with all the brothers and sisters we meet. What exactly does it mean to live out this love? Before Jesus left us this commandment, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples; And after giving it to us, he surrendered himself to the cross. This is what love means: giving service and life to others. Service, that is, not putting our interests first; to get rid of the toxins of greed and competition; We fight the cancer of indifference and the worm of self-referral, and share the gifts and gifts God has given us; And to actually ask ourselves, “What am I doing for others?” We live everyday things in a spirit of service, with love and without fuss, without asking anything.
Therefore, the Holy Father went on to say: Give life for the sake of others, which is not limited to offering something like some of our goods to others, but rather to give ourselves. Holiness does not consist of some heroic deed, but rather of much daily love. Are you initiated or are you initiated? Be holy by living your devotion with joy. Are you a married person? Be holy with your love and concern for your partner as Christ did with the Church. are you a worker? Be holy if you carry out your work honestly and effectively in the service of the brothers. Are you a father, mother, grandmother or grandfather? Be holy by patiently teaching children to follow Jesus. Are you an authority? Be a saint by fighting for the common good and for giving up your personal interests.
Pope Francis went on to say, to serve the Gospel and brothers, to give life without personal gain, without seeking any worldly glory, in the humble secret of the example of Jesus. This is the path taken by Charles de Foucault, who was moved to tears during Christmas during his visit to Nazareth. He began to imagine Jesus walking among the people, patiently walking forward with tiring work and living in a quiet family in a village. This is how he understood the essence of his calling: to follow Jesus and follow him in the hidden life of Nazareth, to choose the path of smallness, humility, to overcome the appearance and to share with the poor. In the silence of ascetic life, worship, and service to the brethren, he understood the essence of the path of holiness. In fact, he writes in this context, “we often set first actions whose results are visible and tangible,” but “God gives first place to love and then to the sacrifice inspired by love and the obedience that comes from love.”
And the Pope concluded by saying: Brothers and sisters, we are also called to this. Our fellow travelers, who are sanctified today, have lived such holiness: by fervently embracing their calling – as priests, devotees and laity – and surrendering themselves for the sake of the Gospel, they have discovered unprecedented joy and become clear reflections of the Lord . in history. Let us also try, because each of us is called to holiness, a holiness that is unique and unrepeatable. Yes, the Lord has a love project for each of us, He has a dream for each of our lives, and what do you want me to tell you? Carry it on with joy!