Mercredi 17 février 2016

10.Following Jesus at the sources of the freedom to love.

A la suite de Jésus, aux sources de la liberté d’aimer

10.Following Jesus at the sources of the freedom to love.

The Evangelist Matthew mentions the sending out mission of the Apostles (Mt.10.16-20), but it is Jesus who continues to teach. It will be necessary to wait for his Passion and Resurrection for the disciples to be able to accomplish in an effective manner their mission(Mt.28.16-20). Jesus is always there, invisible. He sends the Holy Spirit who goes before us. The Love that Jesus has for the Father is overabundant. It is this same Love He will give to his brothers. It is expressed in this great desire : ’I have desired with such a strong desire to take this Paschal meal with you so that the Father may be glorified.’ The Saviour announces that the children of the Father will be glorified in Him.

Jesus will take the place of sinful man and introduce him once more into the Bosom of the Father. In order to do this, he has to face up to the mystery of iniquity in its most atrocious manifestations. Later on Paul who had had his own experience will tell us :’ Who will separate us from the Love of Christ ? Affliction, anguish, persecution, hunger, nudity, danger, the sword ?’( Rm.8.35) In all this he will say that we have overcome all things. From now on anywhere where the suffering of humanity will be expressed and a fortiori in the most obscure and unbearable suffering, Jesus will be there, the Holy Spirit will be given to us. We know that it is not a question of outer suffering but of inner suffering.

Bernadette in Nevers will give this answer to one of her Sisters who notices how difficult it is for her to put up with her asthmatic condition : ’My Sister, it is something even harder to bear when the soul doesn’t breathe any more.’ In her faith she cried out to the Lord her Saviour. The Lamb bearing all the suffering of the world is truly present. The is very ’absence ’of God himself for her is offered up so that sinner may have Light.

’David would say ’My son, o that I had died instead of you.’(2 S.19)

It the mediation of Jesus’ life that permits him to express himself as this.Jesus will tell us about the Love of the Father : ’God has so loved the world that He gave His Only Son.’(Jn.3,16) This mystery is from now on revealed to us (Jn.14.31) We lean on this complete confidence Jesus always had for His Father. In Him even our human experience has been taken up. This is where He joins us, in this place where there is total darkness.

He is the Light of the world. We shall always be enlightened by it.

We can hold out in the Word of God. We understand why Matthew situates the real ’sending out’ on Mission after the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus. Before being ’saviour’ with Jesus we first of all need to be saved. As well, like poor people, we are in need of a helping hand. Jesus gives us is His Mother, Mary of Compassion who is there. This Presence is all more precious to me when I come across the mystery of iniquity which is always ravaging humanity. What strength can be drawn here and what necessary light at the time of torment and agony. This delicacy Jesus has for us is such great wisdom that it fills us with joy.In fact it is a joy to co operate in God’s work in the world. As Jesus is born by the Father, he is sustained by the Holy Spirit. It will be the same for Jesus’ disciple, they will be born by Jesus and the Holy Spirit. ’As the Father has sent me I send you : receive the Holy Spirit.’

Jesus poverty will be that of those he sends forth. If we depend like this on someone else’s will we are introduced into great littleness. It is the condition for which the Infinite Love of God can exist in the disciples’ heart, otherwise they themselves will be hurt. The letter of Paul to the Philippians says the choice of Jesus ’He, of divine condition, didn’t consider it 5Ph.2.6) If Jesus was identified to the poor, poverty will be the new condition to participate in his mission.

"The poor are evangelised’ said Jesus to those sent out by John the Baptist. If they are evangelised, they become Evangelisers. We come to recognise that the poor are not received ! ’I was hungry, thirsty, you didn’t feed, give me to drink. ; I was sick, in prison and you didn’t visit me ; I was naked, homeless, and you didn’t welcome me.’(Mt.25.42) The ordeal for Jesus’ Apostles will not be an easy one to accept. Paul, in his letters, spoke a lot about this. In résumé, he said ’we have become the laughing stock of the world.’ Thus we are here before the mystery of poverty. There is a complicity between the poor in the world and the poor sent out on mission by Jesus. Mysteriously they recognise each other. The Holy Spirit, Father of the poor, makes their unity. It is in contemplation Jesus in his Passion that this becomes their Light. The relationship of Jesus on the Cross with the good thief is enlightening : ’Those who kill you believe they are offering worship to God.’ But Jesus declares clearly that this is true happiness : Blessed are you, rejoice, for your reward is great in heaven.