WHO IS MY NEIGHBOUR?
Study, meditation and mortification are not enough for Christians to encounter the living Christ. “The path to our encounter with Jesus-God” said the Holy Father “is His wounds”, present in the poor, the sick and the needy. “There is no other.”
In the history of the Church, there have been some mistakes made on the path towards God. Some have believed that the Living God, the God of Christians, can be found on the path of meditation. Yes, they may arrive at a knowledge of God, but not of Jesus Christ, Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity. “It is not the right path, and does not lead to a safe harbour,” says the Holy Father. Others have thought that to arrive at God we must mortify ourselves, but not even these arrive at the Living God, Jesus Christ. They are the Pelagians, who believe that they can arrive by their own efforts.
But Jesus tells us that the path to encountering Him is to find His wounds, and we do this by carrying out works of mercy, giving to the body of our wounded brother, because he is hungry, destitute, hurt by misunderstandings and loneliness, deprived of basic human necessities: thirsty; naked; humiliated; badly treated; in prison or in hospital. These are the wounds of Jesus today. We need to touch them, caress them, to bind them with tenderness. We have to kiss the wounds of Jesus. Christian men and women can never pass by on the other side, as some of the individuals in the Parable of the Good Samaritan did.
So often we meet the person who was left half dead, either because he has not been taught the elementary truths of the Faith, or because they have been stolen from him by the effects of others’ bad example or by media-conditioning. We should never forget that the Faith is the greatest treasure man has, much more important than all material and human values.
Pope Francis tells us that we do not need to go on a ‘refresher course’ to touch the living God, but to enter into the wounds of Jesus, borne by our neighbour, and for this “all we have to do is go out onto the street”, open our eyes and hearts, to those we know and those we don’t, and have the courage to enter into the wounds of Jesus.
To read more, click here…Newsletter for Sunday 14th July 2013