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Liturgical day: Saturday in the Octave of Easter
Gospel text (Mk 16,9-15): When Jesus had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. After this he appeared in another form to two of them walking along on their way to the country. They returned and told the others; but they did not believe them either. [But] later, as the eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised. He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.”
“Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature”
Fr. Jacques PHILIPPE
(Cordes sur Ciel, France)
Today, relying on the risen Jesus, we must rediscover the Gospel as the "Good News". The Gospel is not a law that tyrannizes us. Occasionally, we may have fallen into the temptation of thinking that non-Christians are more tranquil than us and do what they want, whereas we have to abide by a list of commandments. This is a merely superficial view of things.
Personally, one of my biggest concerns is that the Gospel may always be presented as good news, happy news that fills our hearts with joy and consolation.
The teaching of Jesus is certainly demanding, but Thérèse of the Child Jesus helps us to really perceive it as good news, since for her the Gospel is the revelation of God’s tenderness, of God’s mercy with each one of His children, and it points out the laws of life that lead to happiness. The center of Christian life is to welcome with appreciation the kindness and the goodness of God - revelation of his merciful love - and allow us to be transformed by this love.
The spiritual journey taken by Saint Thérèse, the "Little Way", is an authentic way of holiness, a path with room for all, made in such a way that no one can get discouraged — neither the humblest, nor the poorest, nor the sinner. Thus, Thérèse anticipates the Vatican II Council that strongly affirms that holiness is not an exceptional way, but a call to all Christians from which nobody should be excluded. Even the most vulnerable and lowly among us can respond to the call to holiness.
This Holiness consists of a “way all about confidence and love.” Thus, “it is your arms, Jesus, which are the lift to carry me to Heaven (…). You, my God, have exceeded my hope, and I would like to sing your mercies” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).
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