The denied “You”

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The denied “You” (01/11/2016)

A few years ago, Pope Benedict devoted a whole General Audience to the theme of sanctity. I was struck by a short sentence of his speech and its ability to sum it up:

The saints expressed, in various ways, the powerful and transforming presence of the Risen One. They let Jesus so totally overwhelm their life that they could say with St Paul “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20).

Our issue, within the Church, is with You, Jesus. And it concerns us all, at all levels. We talk about You in the third person, as if your You had less substance than mine, even less than the You of a distant acquaintance. Your You as less than mine. As if I were more of a person than You. We deny Jesus his living substance.

We deny You what You, Jesus, are: alive. We mechanically repeat, with no faith, that You live and reign, but we really only just allow you, with difficulty, some kind of vague existence that is rather psychic and philosophical. We deny You a definite and defined thought, a sure and personal identity.

We deny You a life that is personal and more alive and truer than our biological one, even though this life of ours is so pale and fragile in our eyes. All the more so, the reality of You who reign actively in the present time is a truth that only lingers in the closing lines of official prayers. With no backbone. Who live and reign forever and ever. A faint whisper rather than a cry of loving faith.

Forgive us! You tell us today: By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. I ask that this glory of the Father reveals itself in us. And, so that this be possible, as shepherd, I ask You for Your glory, oh Father, that the living and personal presence of your Son becomes key to this community on men and women, old people and children. A community where the You of Jesus Christ be living and reigning. A You to whom we shall obey, together, thus putting out all insubstantial fads.

May the You of Christ become the key to unravel this Us of ours. So that each and every one of us, together, can say to others: “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”. Amen, and Amen.

by Fr. Maurizio Botta C.O.

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