"AND YOU, WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?"
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Let us thank God for all His love for us, especially in this year of 1997. The Holy Father has given us the great gift of this Year of Jesus Christ to prepare our hearts for the Jubilee of the Year 2000. Let us in return, as an act of gratitude and adoration, determine to be holy because Jesus is holy.
Am I convinced of Christ's love for me and mine for Him? This conviction is the rock on which sanctity is built. What must we do to get this conviction? We must know Jesus, love Jesus, serve Jesus.
This knowledge will make you strong as death. We know Jesus through faith - by meditating on His Word in the Scriptures, by listening to Him speak through His Church, and through the intimate union of prayer. Believe in Jesus - trust Him with blind and absolute confidence because He is Jesus. Believe that Jesus and Jesus alone is life - and sanctity is nothing but that same Jesus intimately living in you - the same life we received at Baptism grown up and made perfect. That is why it is so beautiful that the Holy Father has asked us to go more deeply into the riches of our Baptism this year.
Love Jesus trustfully without looking back, without fear. Give yourself fully to Jesus. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love, than in your weakness. We must not be afraid to proclaim Jesus' love and to love as he loved. In the work we have to do, no matter how small, we must make it Christ's love in action. Do not be afraid to be poor and so proclaim His poverty. Be not afraid to keep a pure and undivided heart and so to radiate the joy of belonging to Jesus. Do not be afraid to go down with Christ and be subject to those who have authority from above - His Church - and so declare Christ's obedience unto death.
Serve Jesus with joy and gladness of spirit - casting aside all that troubles and worries you. In each of our lives Jesus comes as Bread of Life - to be eaten, to be consumed by us. This is how He loves us. And then Jesus comes in our human life as the Hungry One, the Poor One, hoping to be fed with the bread of our life, our hearts by loving, our hands by serving. As He said, "What ever you did to the least of my brothers, you did it to me". In so doing we prove that we have been created in the likeness of God - for God is Love and when we love we are like God. This is what Jesus meant when He said, "Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect."
Jesus wants us to be holy as His Father is holy. Holiness is not the luxury of the few, but a simple duty for you and for me. Holiness - very great holiness - becomes very simple if we belong fully to Our Lady. In 1997, the Year of Jesus Christ, may the Immaculate Heart of our Queen and Mother be more and more our way to Jesus and may she obtain the light of Jesus, the love of Jesus and the life of Jesus for each one of us. Then, when the Jubilee of the Year 2000 comes, we will be able to rejoice that once more Christ is walking through the world in us and through us going about doing good. Let us pray. God bless you!