|"Good Shepherd" -- the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna|
(Ok, daily meditations are also a bit challenging, given the parish schedule ... I'll soldier through these as I can!)
Continuing our meditations on the Glorious Wounds of Christ:
In his homily at the Mass of Ordination he celebrated on Sunday (May 11), Pope Francis had this bit to say,
The good shepherd enters by the door and the door of mercy is the Lord’s wounds: if you do not enter your ministry through the Lord’s wounds, you will not be good pastors.The door of mercy is the Lord's own wounds. And, using another image that then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio utilized, the tender caress of Jesus on our own sins.
We cannot understand this dynamic of encounter which brings forth wonder and adherence if it has not been triggered–forgive me the use of this word–by mercy. Only someone who has encountered mercy, who has been caressed by the tenderness of mercy, is happy and comfortable with the Lord. I beg the theologians who are present not to turn me in to the Sant’Uffizio or to the Inquisition; however, forcing things a bit, I dare to say that the privileged locus of the encounter is the caress of the mercy of Jesus Christ on my sin.
In front of this merciful embrace–and I continue along the lines of Giussani’s thought–we feel a real desire to respond, to change, to correspond; a new morality arises. We posit the ethical problem, an ethics which is born of the encounter, of this encounter which we have described up to now. Christian morality is not a titanic effort of the will, the effort of someone who decides to be consistent and succeeds, a solitary challenge in the face of the world. No. Christian morality is simply a response. It is the heartfelt response to a surprising, unforeseeable, “unjust” mercy (I shall return to this adjective). The surprising, unforeseeable, “unjust” mercy, using purely human criteria, of one who knows me, knows my betrayals and loves me just the same, appreciates me, embraces me, calls me again, hopes in me, and expects from me. This is why the Christian conception of morality is a revolution; it is not a never falling down but an always getting up again.Read the whole piece.