The treasure we have to give to the world is not us, our speeches, our pastoral tricks. The only, true, immeasurable treasure is him: Jesus.
In the garden of the Church, everyone has the right to their own personality, to their own spirituality, to their own charisms, lived, however, always and only in communion with the successors of the apostles and of Peter.
But what is the goal that those who have chosen to live a life that many today find it difficult to understand will have to pursue? When the world tries to marginalize them, ignore them, slander them, or even persecute them, who will give them the strength to persevere? How will they not get lost in the haze of this life that so attracts and deceives with its flattery? The star. They must not lose sight of the star.
the consecrated, at any level, from the concierge of the cloistered monastery to the Secretary of State of the Holy See, to the Supreme Pontiff himself, they will have to remember, at every hour of the day, that they are in the service of a God who has come down from heaven “for us men and for our salvation”. When this fundamental truth is lost or faded, the Church is debased into something only human. Men are not angels, but men, with their strengths and weaknesses. Believers, starting with the saints, know well that the desire for perfection must come to terms with one’s humanity.
The life of faith is a battle. Battles are fought bravely. He doesn’t fall in love with battles; they are scary, because they can be won but also lost. One goes into battle with suitable means and tools, in good health, and above all, driven by an ideal that gives wings to the fighter’s feet. Otherwise, your battle will turn into a more or less sensational defeat. Spiritual battles are no different.
Jesus chose twelve young men “to stay with him and to send them out to preach.” Not even these, whom we venerate as saints today, were immune from the miseries that loom over us and make us suffer. The hunt for top positions – in civil society and in the Church itself – shouldn’t come as a surprise. It is human to be caressed by the desire to advance in the career, to appear, to be someone. He is human but not divine.
In the vision of faith, “human” means that in that longed-for ascent towards power – even if it were a “spiritual” power – Jesus has nothing to do with it. And if Jesus has nothing to do with it, our effort is not only useless but harmful. Very few times in the Gospel does the Master seem to lose his patience: when they touch his children and when they desecrate his temple. And with Pietro when – poor thing! – will try to prevent him from going to die on the cross. His heartfelt appeal was nothing more than a declaration of love. Yet the Lord does not appreciate that advice, hardens his face, becomes very severe. And he orders them to get away from him.
But why? What horrendous crime had the ancient fisherman committed? The motivation should make me and all those who follow him tremble: “You don’t think according to God but according to men”. That’s all? Nothing serious, then? Is the future first pope reproached for having loved the Master too much? Yes, a good out of place, evidently, which, at that moment, it represents the most subtle and dangerous of temptations.
Those words, heartfelt and true, could have distracted him from his mission. He came down from heaven “for us men and for our salvation”. And he asks his Church to help him make this dream come true. Nothing else. Peter understands, nods, is silent, trembles. She suffers, cries, collect the lesson. That bitter and providential “reproach” will accompany him for the rest of his life, up to his martyrdom. Those words are the star that will have to guide our journey as believers, lay people, consecrated people, priests, bishops, cardinals. Those words, Francis, Peter’s successor, hears reverberating in his ears and in his heart.
The treasure we have to give to the world is not us, our speeches, our pastoral tricks. The only, true, immeasurable treasure is he, Jesus. Never lose sight of the star, therefore. For doing so, the Magi ended up in the clutches of Herod. When they finally saw her shine again, they felt a great joy. And by following it they reached their destination.
Repetita iuvant. “For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven”. Not for galaxies, not for stars and black holes. Let’s engrave this truth on the jambs of our doors, our churches, our souls. If we are risking our life in the Church, it is only to collaborate with Jesus in the only mission that is truly close to his heart. For humanity today and for the one to come. Forever and ever.