Go back to the gospels

VI Sunday of Easter

Learning the art of loving

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Dear brothers and sisters, Fiat!

Today’s Gospel (cf. Jn 14:15-21), the continuation of that of last Sunday, takes us back to the moving and dramatic moment of Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples. John the Evangelist gathers from the lips and heart of the Lord His last teachings, before His Passion and death. Jesus promises his friends, at that sad, dark moment, that after him, they will receive “another Paraclete” (v. 16). This word means another “Advocate”, another Defender, another Counsellor: “the Spirit of Truth” (v. 17); and he adds, “I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you” (v. 18). These words convey the joy of a new Coming of Christ. He, Risen and glorified, dwells in the Father and at the same time comes to us in the Holy Spirit. And in his new coming, he reveals our union with him and with the Father: “You will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (v. 20).

Today, by meditating on these words of Jesus, we perceive with the sense of faith that we are the People of God in communion with the Father and with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. The Church finds the inexhaustible source of her very mission, which is achieved through love, in this mystery of communion. Jesus says in today’s Gospel: “He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (v. 21). So, love introduces us to the knowledge of Jesus, thanks to the action of this “Advocate” that Jesus sent, that is, the Holy Spirit. Love for God and neighbour is the greatest commandment of the Gospel. The Lord today calls us to respond generously to the Gospel’s call to love, placing God at the centre of our lives and dedicating ourselves to the service of our brothers and sisters, especially those most in need of support and consolation.

If ever there is an attitude that is never easy, even for a Christian community, it is precisely how to love oneself, to love after the Lord’s example and with his grace. Sometimes disagreements, pride, envy, divisions, leave their mark even on the beautiful face of the Church. A community of Christians should live in the charity of Christ, and instead, it is precisely there that the evil one “sets his foot in” and sometimes we allow ourselves to be deceived. And those who pay the price are those who are spiritually weaker. How many of them — and you know some of them — how many of them have distanced themselves because they did not feel welcomed, did not feel understood, did not feel loved. How many people have distanced themselves, for example, from some parish or community because of the environment of gossip, jealousy, and envy they found there. Even for a Christian, knowing how to love is never a thing acquired once and for all. We must begin anew every day. We must practice it so that our love for the brothers and sisters we encounter may become mature and purified from those limitations or sins that render it incomplete, egotistical, sterile, and unfaithful. We have to learn the art of loving every day. Listen to this: every day we must learn the art of loving; every day we must patiently follow the school of Christ. Every day we must forgive and look to Jesus, and do this with the help of this “Advocate”, of this Counsellor whom Jesus has sent to us that is the Holy Spirit.

Life in the Divine Will is letting oneself be modeled by the love of Jesus, letting God work in our soul. On February 10, 1932, Jesus told Luisa that each time we elevate ourselves in the Divine Will to unite ourselves to each act It has done, and to unite our act to Its own, the divine act rises and gives us a degree of grace, of love, of sanctity, a degree of divine life and of glory. These degrees, united together, form the necessary substance to form the divine life in the creature; one forms the heartbeat, one the breath, one the word, one the eye, one the beauty, one the sanctity of God in the depth of the soul. As the creature approaches them, God’s acts rise, to give what they possess; they anxiously wait for her in order to place themselves in attitude of rising, to form their divine outpourings, to deposit themselves and repeat the acts in her. So, one who unites herself with the acts the Divine Will gives God the occasion to let Him work – but to do what? To form God’s life with His work in the creature.

The creature, by elevating herself in the Divine Will, leaves everything and reduces herself to her nothingness. This nothing recognizes its Creator, and the Creator recognizes the nothing that came out to light – not the nothing cluttered with things that do not belong to Him, no; and finding it ‘nothing’, He fills it with the ‘All’. Here is what it means to live in the Divine Will – to unclutter oneself of everything and, extra light, to fly into the womb of the Celestial Father, so that this nothing may receive the life of the One who created it.

In addition to this, the Divine Will is God’s life and His food, and since God has no need of material foods, It gives Him, then, the food of Its holy works; and since the creature is one of His works, God wants to find in her His Will as life, so that, not only herself, but all of her works may serve God as food; and He, in exchange, gives her the food of His works. This feeding Himself with the same foods forms the co-breathing between God and the creature. This co-breathing produces peace, communication of goods, inseparability; it seems that the divine breath breathes in the creature, and that of the creature in God, uniting them so much as to feel as if the breath of one were one with the other. Here then, come the co-breathings of Will, co-breathing of love, of works; God feels that breath which God issued in the creation of man, and which he broke by doing his will, reborn again in the creature. The Divine Will has the virtue and office of regenerating in him what he lost with sin, and of reordering him as he came out of His creative hands.

God’s works suffer isolation if they are not recognized as works done for love of creatures. In fact, there was no other purpose in doing so many marvelous works in Creation, than to give them many attestations of love. God had no need, everything was done with an intense love for them. Now, if God’s love is not recognized in each created thing, His works remain alone, without cortege, without honors, and as though apart from the creatures. So, the heavens, the sun, the other created things, are alone; what He did in Redemption, His works, His pains, His tears and everything else, are isolated.

Now, who forms the company for God’s works? One who recognizes them and, going around within them, finds God’s love palpitating for her, longing for her company in order to give and receive love. So much so, that when we go around in the Divine Will to find God’s works, and to recognize His love and place our own, Jesus feels so drawn, that He is almost always waiting for us in each work, to enjoy our company, our cortege; and He feels as though repaid for what He did and suffered. And when sometimes we delay we coming, Jesus is waiting, and He puts Himself on the lookout from inside His works, to see when we are about to come, so as to enjoy our sweet company.

don Marco
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