Pavens fasterefleksjoner

The Secret of Hope - "To Return to Jerusalem"

Seventh Reflections of Papal Spiritual Exercises

John Paul II could not have prepared better for his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, which begins tomorrow.Yesterday morning, he ended the Spiritual Exercises that he began a week ago, in silence and meditation on the preaching of Vietnamese Archbishop François Xavier Nguyên Van Thuân, who on Saturday cast his gaze on Jerusalem and the places were Jesus preached 2000 years ago. During the meditation, the Archbishop described with striking force the presence of Christ in a Church "that on occasions is tired, sad and disillusioned" in face of today's world, as were the disciples of Emmaus but which, like them, is capable of returning to the Holy City, recognizing the "ineffable certainty" of Jesus' presence by their side.

The story that took place in those 11 kilometers that separate Jerusalem from Emmaus is the image of the interior road to which every believer is called: from sadness to joy, the "great joy of the art of loving," which united the Church, thanks to Jesus' presence among his own.

Thus Archbishop Nguyên Van Thuân explained how Christians can maintain peace of heart including in the most difficult times: "Every time Jesus appears after the resurrection, he always greets with these words: 'Peace be with you.' Jesus is our peace, our hope. This real peace, which is a joy the world cannot give and which no one can take away from us, is only reached on the penitential road, by a real change of life, as we are asked to do during the Jubilee. To change the human so that it will become divine. This requires a 'metanoia,' a change. As that progressive and later decisive change of the disciples of Emmaus, converted by the Word and by Christ's presence among them, they changed their direction. They were fleeing from Jerusalem, the city of the scandal of their Master's death in whom they had placed their hope. But now, fearless, they return to Jerusalem, the city of the death and resurrection of their Lord."

"The peace Jesus announces to his disciples is also love. The heart reconciles in love, it is unified, and it reaches that peace for which we have been created and which is our end," the retreat Master said.

"The incident of Emmaus reminds all of us of a joyful reality of the Christian experience: the perennial presence of the resurrected Christ in the Church," he continued. "It is a living and real presence in the Word, in the sacraments, in the Mass. But also in persons and among persons, in the Church's ministers, in the poor and in each brother."

"For the last 2000 years the Church has lived from this presence. And, looking toward the future, it has the hope of his promise: 'I will be with you always until the end of the world.' We must be witnesses of this presence and this hope." Therefore, Archbishop Nguyên Van Thuân invited John Paul II and his collaborators of the Roman Curia to "return to the origins of the Gospel. Let us constantly return to Jerusalem, as the Holy Father is now preparing to do: a return to the sources, to the Church's center, where Jesus taught, suffered his passion, died and was buried. It seemed to be the end. Pilate sent soldiers to guard Jesus' tomb; the Jews saw to it that the stone was rolled and sealed. They wanted to be done with him forever. To erase him from everyone's memory, including their own. But Jesus resurrected in Jerusalem and appeared to many persons. The Church exults with joy because Jesus said: 'Have confidence: I have overcome the world.' "

Forrige Innhold Neste

av Webmaster publisert 31.03.2006, sist endret 31.03.2006 - 18:18