MORNING MEDITATION IN THE CHAPEL OF THE
Contemplating Jesus, meek and suffering
Thursday, 12 September 2013
(by L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n.
38, 18 September 2013)
It is not easy for Christians to live according to the principles and virtues
inspired by Jesus. “It is not easy, but,” Pope Francis said at Mass on Thursday
morning, 12 September, in the Santa Marta Chapel, “it is possible”: it suffices
“to contemplate Jesus suffering and humanity suffering” and to live “a live
hidden in God with Jesus”.
The Pope’s reflection was spurred by the liturgical memorial that day of the
Holy Name of Mary. “Today we celebrate Our Lady’s name day. The Holy Name of
Mary. Formerly this feast was called the Sweet Name of Mary and today in the
prayer we asked for the grace to experience the power and sweetness of Mary.
Then it changed, but in prayer this ‘sweetness’ of her name remained. We are in
need today of the sweetness of Our Lady to understand the things that Jesus asks
of us. It is not an easy list to put into practice: love your enemies, do good,
give without hoping for anything in return, to him who strikes you offer the
other cheek, to him who takes your cloak offer your tunic as well. These are
heavy demands. But all of them were lived by Our Lady in her own way: the grace
of gentleness, the grace of meekness.
“The Apostle Paul wrote on the same point: ‘Put on then, as God's chosen
ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience,
forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving
each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive’ (cf. Col 3
12-14). But how is this possible? How can I prepare myself for this? What do I
have to study.” The answer is clear: “With our own strength, we cannot do it.
Grace alone can do it in us. Our effort helps; it's necessary but not enough”.
The Apostle Paul teaches us something, “he tells us: ‘brothers, if you are
risen with Christ seek the things of above where Christ is triumphant; he is
there, seated at the right hand of God. Turn your thoughts to the things of that
place, not of the earth... You are in fact dead and your life is hidden with
Christ in God’”. Compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, patience,
forbearance are the virtues we need to follow the path indicated by Christ. To
receive them “is a grace. A grace that comes from contemplating Jesus”.
“Only by contemplating the suffering humanity of Jesus can we become meek,
humble, and tender as he is. There is no other way”. Certainly, we must make an
effort to “find Jesus; to dwell on his passion, on how much he suffered; to
think of his meek silence”. That is our effort; then “the rest is up to him, and
he will take care of everything that is missing. But you have to do this much:
hide your life in God with Christ”.
Thus, to be good Christians you have to contemplate the suffering humanity of
Jesus. “How can we bear witness? Contemplate Jesus. How can we forgive?
Contemplate Jesus suffering. How can we not hate our neighbour? Contemplate
Jesus suffering. How can we avoid gossiping about our neighbour? Contemplate
Jesus suffering. There is no other way”. These virtues are the those of the
Father, who forgives us always, and Our Lady, Our Mother, shares in these
virtues too. “Let us entrusts ourselves to Our Lady. And when today we give her
our best wishes on her feast day, let us ask her that she ask for the grace for
us to experience her sweetness”.