22 de julio de 2012

Semana 7-ma. de Pentecostes.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. In his Epistle to the Romans (15:1-7) St. Paul calls all Christians to be the strength and the support of those who are weak. St. Paul says to each of us and to all the Christian community: You who are strong support those who are weak. This must make us ponder. Are we to be called strong as contrasted with anyone else? Don't we realise, each of us, how frail and how weak we are? Don't we feel that, whatever desire we have to be God's own people, we have no strength and no power to achieve our human and our Christian vocation? And at this point we must remember another saying of St. Paul; he too felt that he was weak, that he did not possess all the strength he needed to fulfil his apostolate, and he prayed the Lord to give him strength. The Lord answered him and said: My strength makes itself manifest in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). And St. Paul, having understood what that meant, exclaims: So I shall glory in nothing but my weakness, because then all will be an act of God. But this weakness is not cowardice, timidity, sloth, laziness: everything that could be called inertia and that prevents us from doing those things which we believe to be right, which our heart longs for, which our mind understands to be the best, the holiest, and yet which our will is incapable of bringing into operation. It is a different weakness; rather the awareness that we cannot achieve the greatness to which we are called unless God helps us. Because we are all called to be the sons and the daughters of the Most High, to be God's own children; indeed, by adoption, but once adopted, to be as completely and perfectly God's children as the Only-begotten Son of God was the Son of God. But what does it mean that we should support, help, uphold those who are weak? Perhaps we can find the beginning of an answer in today's Gospel (Matthew 9:27-35). Christ was confronted with the blind man. He gave him sight. We are surrounded by people who are blind — not physically, but in so many ways, people who need to acquire a vision and sight which would allow them to grow to the full measure of their stature and to be truly happy. Not in the superficial sense of enjoying the good things of life that leave us all hungry and full of longing, but with another happiness. What are the things to which we can open the eyes of others? First of all, make people around us see how great they are, how important they are to God. Each of us was not only willed, but loved into existence by God. Each of us means so much to God that He gave His Only-begotten Son for our salvation: all His Life, His Passion and His Death. This is what each of us, all human beings in the world, mean to God. This is what so few realise — that they are infinitely precious, with the infinity of God. Also, that there is in them this hunger, and the hunger is too great for the things of this created world to satisfy. Only God can fill them; but in order to see God, have we not heard, Sunday after Sunday, read time and again, the words of Christ “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”? So we must call every person around us to venerate, to reverence his own purity and to fight for the purity of his mind, the purity of his heart, the purity of his life, so that becoming gradually less opaque, then translucent, then perfectly transparent, the mind and the heart of man can perceive God. At this point, everyone can turn to us and say "Physician, heal thyself." And indeed we can help others only if we ourselves struggle and strive to be great with the purity that allows us to set God, with the greatness of God, of the Only-begotten Son become the Son of men. There are many other things which we may discover which are forms of blindness in us and in others. Whenever we discover them, we must help others to discern them, because even if we ourselves are not truly capable of being what we should be, at our words others may achieve what we are too slack or too weak, to do. And so it is also with the man who was deprived of speech. How many, how many are speechless before the greatness of God and the beauty of their own selves? There is no way of discovering who and what God is unless we discover holiness and beauty in us. A Russian preacher said once "When God looks at us He does not see the virtues or the achievements which are not there; He sees the eternal beauty which He has implanted in each of us." This is our message to every person, and this is the message of every person to us: reverence, love, fulfil this beauty, become great! And then we will have done what St. Paul calls us to do in today's Epistle: we will have supported those who are frail and weak, not with our strength, but with the strength of God, because all things are possible in the Spirit of God that upholds us. Amen.

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