Lent: time of grace for returning to live
the Love for God and for our neighbours
February 16, 2021
Beginning of Lent
Meditation of the day of Pontiff Samuel
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Dear brothers and dear sisters, we are ready to live this Holy Lent which is the time of an even greater grace given to us to live God more intensely and to return to live God as the only primary Good.
During this time, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, we are all called to live prayer and brotherhood in a special way putting into practice the commandment of Love that Jesus taught us. “Love God with all your might and love your neighbour as yourself”. This is the heart of the Christian message, which becomes the centre of our action.
And Jesus adds: “Mercy is what pleases me, not sacrifice”. This is the heart of the law: Love, love for God and love for our neighbours, that same love taught to us by Jesus and Mary with their example of life. Here is that every good Christian during this time prepares for the Holy Easter devoting more time to meditation and prayer and, consequently, even more time to charity, to the love for our neighbours, our brothers and our sisters.
This is the mercy that God here asks us to have. This is the example that here Maria Giuseppina Norcia gave me and gave to us all, in this Land of Love that is the centre of the infinite mercy of God. By loving Jesus we love our brother; by loving Mary we love our sister, even when our brothers and sisters are not as we would like and expect them to be. But the relationships between the brothers of the Jerusalem must be different from those who live the world; a world fallen prey to envy, jealousy and rivalry.
True love is not selfish; it’s to be given by doing to others what we would want to be done to ourselves and by loving life, gift of the Father, thus living a healthy, holy, balanced life, and loving those whom the Father entrusted, entrusts and will entrust us during our life.
In doing so, we live every day thanking and praying the Father for the sacred gift of life and placing at the centre of our daily action the love for the family, intended as domestic church and intended as universal church, on the example of the Holy Family, trying to imitate the virtues and love that characterized the life of St. Joseph, Mary Most Holy and Jesus.
Here is the harmony between husband and wife, between parents and children, between brothers and sisters, through the example and in the awareness of having a Father and a Mother who will never desert the sons entrusted to them. Let us invoke the mercy of the Father and of the Mother, so that the many victims of violence may find refreshment, consolation and justice.
Return to God. Return to live God as the only primary Good. And nothing will be lacking.
Come, you all who are persecuted and oppressed by violence, by oppression, by the carelessness of many. Come, you little ones, crushed and marginalized by the powerful of this world, by those who, instead of serving God, have betrayed Him preferring to serve mammon. Come, to be fed and watered with that bread and water that will make you no longer feel hungry and thirsty. Come. Let your heart be delighted by the fragrance of the Love of Christ and the purity of Mary. Come, to be reborn to new life, in the Spirit, here, where the Holy Spirit lives and dwells. Come, to contemplate the countenance of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, One and Triune God, who is Man in the Son, the Father’s gift to free hearts and souls from the burdens of the everyday life and from the chains of those who have subjugated and enslaved those same sons whom Jesus had freed with His Sacrifice.
«If you had understood what these words mean: “Mercy is what pleases me, not sacrifice”, you would not have condemned blameless people» says Jesus. These words are more relevant than ever. Love for Jesus and for our neighbours is the heart of the Law. It’s good to offer a little sacrifice, a little act of renunciation to Jesus, from time to time, without remaining latched to it too long, so as not to be humanly bridled at the detriment of charity. It’s good and right, at Lent, to join and co-participate in the Sacrifice of Jesus by offering a small fasting, on Good Friday and Ash Wednesday, having small, frugal meals without satisfying our belly; but never at the expense of charity and love, the love for God and our neighbour.
Only by experiencing Love we will rediscover the joy of living Christ the Love, who came down here to give back to everyone the joy of being Christians, of living every day in communion of heart, soul and spirit with Jesus, the living Bread descended from Heaven, who nourishes His sons in the New Jerusalem, in Spirit and Truth, giving them His peace, His love and His joy, so that all may be sincerely grateful to the Father and to the Mother for having been called to live the Kingdom, for having here found the Treasure of all treasures: Baby Jesus descended from Heaven to give men His Goodness again and make everyone rediscover the joy of living Love and freedom, that Love and freedom based on brotherhood and harmony, on the respect for the freedom that God has given to all, well aware that our freedom ends where the freedom of our neighbour begins. In doing so, we are truly equal and free, before man and before God. Only in this way, Love can triumph: that love for God and our neighbour, as Jesus Himself taught us.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.