MORNING MEDITATION IN THE CHAPEL OF THE
DOMUS SANCTAE MARTHAE
Monday, May 14th 2018
All Christians received as a gift the friendship of Jesus: "our destiny is to be friends" of his and he remains "faithful to this gift" even when "we for our weakness turn away from him". This is the teaching that Pope Francis drew from the liturgical readings of the day during the Mass celebrated in Santa Marta on the morning of Monday May 14, the feast of Saint Matthias Apostle.
"In today's liturgy - the Pope began - there is a word that is repeated many times": it is "the word" destiny "». But, he immediately warned, "we should not take it as a synonym for" chance ", no. It is not "by chance" by chance, in this "; instead "here is synonymous with destiny". In fact, he observed, "in prayer we have prayed like this:" O Lord, to us who have received the gift of your friendship, you grant to progress in this love, to be elected, to remain faithful in election "».
Hence the starting point for reflection on the theme of the friendship of every Christian with Jesus. "We - he explained - have received this gift as destiny: the friendship of the Lord. This is our vocation: to live friends of the Lord, friends of the Lord ", he repeated twice. And the same gift, he pointed out, had been received by the apostles: "stronger still, but the same".
Therefore, actualizing the concept, Francis emphasized that "all of us Christians have received this gift: openness, access to the heart of Jesus, to the friendship of Jesus. We have received the gift of your friendship. Our destiny is to be your friends. "
Then dwelling on the characteristics of this gift, the Pope first of all highlighted that it is "a gift that the Lord always preserves" and that "he is faithful to this gift". On the contrary, "many times we are not and we move away, with our sins, with our whims and many other things". Instead "he is faithful to friendship because he has called us to live it. He elected us for this, to be his friends: "I will no longer call you servants - he says in the Gospel (John 15, 9-17) - I will tell you friends". And this word preserves it until the end ".
In this regard, the Pope asked to think carefully about "what is the last word" that Jesus "addresses to Judas, precisely at the moment of betrayal". And the answer is surprising: "" Judas, friend ". When Giuda was about to deliver him, he told him "friend", reminds him of this. Because he is faithful ». The Lord "does not say:" Go away because you have turned away from me. Get out". No! He is faithful to this gift that he has given us all: the gift of friendship ".
As a result, the Pope continued in his reasoning "Jesus is our friend. And Judas, as he says here, went for his new destiny, for his destiny that he freely chose, he turned away from Jesus ". And this "turning away from Jesus", Francis clarified, is called "apostasy. A friend who becomes an enemy or a friend who becomes indifferent or a friend who becomes a traitor. " On the contrary, "the Lord does not deny, until the end he is there:" Judas, friend ". Until the end. " And this, Francis' advice "must make us think".
Moreover, even the first reading, taken from the Acts of the Apostles (1, 15-17.20-26), shows that "Mattias was elected in place of Judas to be a witness of the Resurrection, witness of this gift of love, of friendship more than love, it is friendship, which says familiarity in love. Because Jesus himself says: "Behold, you are my friends, I no longer call you servants because the servant does not know what his master is doing. But I have called you friends because I have known all that I have heard from my Father ".
In fact "the friend is the one who shares the secrets in the other". And since "we have received by lot, that is destiny, the gift of the friendship of Jesus, as he had received Judas, as he had received Mattia", the Pope invited to think "about this": the fact that Christ "Do not deny this gift, do not deny us, wait for us until the end. And when we for our weakness turn away from him, he waits, he waits, He keeps saying, "Man, I'll wait for you. What do you want? Friend, why do you betray me with a kiss? " Because, the Pontiff concluded, Jesus "is the faithful in friendship". And "we must ask him this grace to remain in his love, to remain in his friendship, that friendship we have received as a gift from him".