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Monday, 08 March 2021 08:17

Week III - Fraternity is Care - "What is weakness is strength." (Cf. 1 Cor 1:25)

The Gospel of this Third Sunday of Lent presents us with a Jesus we would not expect to see.  John tells us, “The Passover of the Jews was approaching, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling oxen, sheep, and doves, and sitting there were the money changers. Then he made a whip of cords and drove them all out of the temple, along with the sheep and the oxen; he threw the money of the moneychangers to the ground and overturned their stalls, and to the dove sellers he said, ‘Take these things away from here and do not make my Father's house a marketplace!’"
Jesus knows that in our hearts dwells the temptation of the merchant. The temptation to possess and manage creation and creatures as objects to take and sell, to appropriate and use to feel a little more secure. This is the temptation to become masters, to live the illusion of being masters of one's own life.  Things created and given to us, therefore, become magnets for small or large attachments. Even relationships and people progressively fall into the utilitarian category of idols to be worshipped for our own self-satisfaction.
Jesus knows our weakness. He asks us to risk breaking with our formalities, He proposes that we destroy the walls in which we hide this weakness of ours and trust in Him.
He knows that in our hearts dwells an infinite need for trust! And trust is the fertile ground for an authentic freedom, for an adherence to the true law of love....
There is no humanity that is not wounded, from the point of view of fraternity and Pope Francis, faced with the many diseases that mark it suggests a specific "cure" based on gratuitousness and tenderness. Gratuity is the human dimension that allows one to "do some things for the mere fact that in themselves they are good, without hoping to get any result from them, without immediately expecting something in return." (Ft 139) We welcome people because they are different, not because they are useful. This attitude of conscience makes our humanity grow and shapes our witness. Tenderness, on the other hand, "is love that becomes close and concrete. It is a movement that starts from the heart and reaches the eyes, ears and hands" (FT194) and it is the inner strength that has the courage to appear in concrete gestures of service.
We are encouraged to commit ourselves to taking care of our relationships by placing at the base of fraternity a greater mutual trust that allows for the creation of a climate of spontaneity and authenticity and allows each one to be themselves. We want to ask ourselves:  How do I want to take care of my own fragility and that of others?
We conclude this reflection with prayer:

Lord our God,
you who lead the hearts of your faithful
to the acceptance of all your words,
grant us the wisdom of the Cross
so that in Christ your Son
we may become living temples of your love.
Amen.
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