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Tuesday, 23 March 2021 11:58

Week V: Generative Fraternity - "When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to myself." (Jn 12:22)

The desire of every person, especially if a believer, is to see the face of God, to contemplate God from this world. The passage from John's Gospel proposed for this Fifth Sunday of Lent describes how this desire was expressed by some Greeks who had come up to Jerusalem to worship during the feast. They approached Philip and asked him: "Sir, we want to see Jesus."

To these Greeks, Jesus reveals the reason why the Cross is the force that unites the world to Himself, infuses it with life and transforms it: "If the grain of wheat does not die, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” In Him who dies on the Cross, God's presence in humanity is realized: the infinite Love that gives itself to the freedom of Jesus who accepts it: a response to the need and desire of every person and every time.

To see Jesus means to see the Crucified One and to taste Love: this is the experience Jesus proposes to his disciples. Those who follow Jesus, like Him, do not close in on themselves, do not keep their lives for themselves, but abandon them, hand them over in trust, continuing to experience the fruitful logic of the Cross.

To see Jesus, to follow Him, to share the Cross, implies a radical choice, a tearing away from oneself, from the instinct of self-preservation, from one's own fears, an emptying out...it means accepting one's humanity to the end, without masks. Only with a moment of radical abandonment, like Jesus, can we experience the glory of God.

            Many words used by Pope Francis are an exhortation to live fraternity in self-giving… to live the experience of the grain of wheat: "if the grain of wheat, fallen into the earth, does not die, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit."  Pope Francis tells us to be close, to make ourselves close, to look beyond, beyond the things we see, to be introspective and far-sighted, almost "in an ecstasy,” to live promptly the call to go out of ourselves "to find in others an increase in being." (FT 88) That "losing oneself" of which Jesus speaks is the logic of gift. Only in this way is friendship generated, that covenant marked by the Blood that we are called to establish with everyone.  It is not enough to share a responsibility, to feel that we are part of a project; we must live as brothers and sisters.

            Jesus' fraternity was a generative fraternity capable of overcoming every boundary and every form of individualism. On the cross, the definitive "place" where fraternity is founded (FT 102), he shows us in full how far love can go. There, he died as he had always lived, in the midst of others, in the sign of a fraternity that welcomes and embraces the most extreme wounds of life.   Only at the foot of the Cross do we learn to generate "what we are not able to do on our own." (FT 102)

I ask myself then:       What opportunities for growth do I experience in my fraternity?

Together we pray:

O Father, you who heard the cry of your Son,

obedient even to death on a cross,

 grant us, in the trials of life,

to participate in his Passion

and experience the fruitfulness of the seed

that dies to produce an abundant harvest.

Amen.

 

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