Cari Confratelli ed amici:
Eventi importanti hanno toccato la nostra vita nelle settimane passate. Tra i tanti penso alla morte di Giovanni Paolo II, al XXesimo anniversario dell’uccisione di padre Favali, all’ elezione del nuovo papa Benedetto XVI.
Tutti hanno un filo conduttore: la fedelta’ di Dio nella storia di ciascuno di noi e la sfida a ricondurci allle origini e alla verita’ della nostra vita.
Con questo in mente voglio condividere con voi quanto Monsignor Rolando Quevedo, Arcivescovo di Cotabato ha scritto al popolo di Dio che vive nella sua Diocesi in occasione dell’elezione del nuovo Pontefice.
“Our new Pope took the name Benedict XVI. By this he intends to be a Pope of Peace and Reconciliation. This is a vision that is terribly needed by our world that is full of conflict and division. For us in the Philippines this vision of peace and reconciliation will encourage our peace efforts and our task of inter-religious dialogue.
One who wishes the Christian faith to follow not what the world says but what Christ told the Apostles, the first Bishops of the Church, would be full of great joy and hope. For the Lord prayed to his Father for the Apostles the night before he died: “(Holy Father) I passed your word to them, and the world hated them, because they belong to the world no more than I belong to the world. I am not asking you to remove them from the world but to protect them from the Evil One. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world” (Jn. 17: 18).
It is in the setting of a world in constant flux that faith is recognized as radical. It simply refuses to conform to what the world wants. Is not this why Pope John Paul II was so admired, because he was a man of strong faith and integrity? When he taught courageously what he believed in as truth? Even when the world would not accept his teaching?
On this matter we should follow the example of Christ himself. Many of his disciples could not accept what he taught about the Eucharist, that his flesh is real food, the food of eternal life. They complained about this “intolerable language…. After this many of his disciples went away and accompanied him no more” (see Jn. 6: 53-66). But Jesus did not change his teaching simply to prevent them from leaving. It is for reasons such as this that the Church will always be a “small flock” in this world.
In the moments that I have been with Cardinal Ratzinger he impressed me as so unlike the image that the media has made of him. In fact he is a quiet person with an immense capacity to listen. He speaks only when needed and this is seldom. His words spoken softly and calmly express his ideas clearly and concisely. He is very humble and self-effacing, without any airs, quite embarrassed when he is the object of praise. He is very kind and fatherly. He has a ready smile. His intellectual brilliance is acknowledged even by those who disagree with him. Above all he is a man of prayer, a man of God.
I have no doubt Pope Benedict XVI will surprise the world with his truly human qualities of kindness, compassion, humility, ability to listen to different ideas, openness to persons, his integrity and profound faith.
Do not be afraid. The Church is in good hands. We shall face the challenges of the future, with the knowledge that the Lord has placed as his Vicar a prayerful Pope with great clarity of mind and a vision of the Church’s role as a leaven in this world.
With the guidance of the Holy Spirit may our new Pope shepherd the Church wisely and skillfully through the many dangerous trends of a world increasingly losing its religious roots. May our new Pope be always beside our Lord. May he always be a son to our Blessed Mother. Long live the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI!”
Quanto viene detto e’ rivolto a ciascuno di noi. Samo chiamati ad essere persone entusiaste del Cristo e siamo invitati ad essere testimoni della vita del Cristo. Una vita di pace e riconciliazione, una vita in dialogo e fatta di gesti di compassione e perdono . Alla nona stazione della Via Crucis celebrata lo scorso venerdi’ Santo, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Benedetto XVI, ha chiesto perdono per le vergogne della Chiesa – non una chiesa astratta, ma una chiesa composta di persone ( e quelle persone siamo noi) che forse non si rendono conto della responsabilita’ del dono che hanno tra le mani.
Raccogliamo questa sfida e diventiamo testimoni. Testimoni capaci di chiedere perdono e offrire perdono. Testimoni capaci di guardare avanti alla nostra vita con speranza nella certezza che l’amore di Dio e’ con noi.