Jesus’ Five Faults

 

This year one of the striking moments in the commemoration of our three Blessed Bulgarian martyrs was certainly the retreat preached by Fr. Giuliano Riccadonna.
The theme of martyrdom launched us into a deep reflection of Christian witnessing.
Starting with John 15:9: “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.” Fr. Giuliano said that: “… the martyr, the saint, the blessed one recognizes having been loved, and is the one who constantly marvels at having been loved by God who became man…”.
 The martyrdom of the Virgin Mary
The first martyrdom that we must consider in order to understand all the others is that of the Virgin Mary, as St. Bernard aptly underscores it in his homily found in the 15 September office of Readings.
It is not necessary to shed one’s blood in order to be a martyr.
The most common martyrdom doesn’t consist in giving one’s life: that is to die on the cross, but rather to live in the shadow of the cross. Covered with sins, hindered by all of one’s limitations, the witness accepts to stay at the foot of the cross. As St. Albert the Great said: “The Christian’s life is one that remains in the shadow of the cross.”
  The martyr: the person invested with Christ
Reading the Book of Revelations and especially chapters six and seven permitted us to contemplate the following reality: the martyr is primarily the one who is invested by Christ. “…do you know who these people are, dressed in white robes, and where they have come from?” (Rv. 7:13) There is no direct answer for the first question. The only answer concerns where they came from: “…these are the people who have been through the great persecution. And because they have washed their robes again in the blood of the Lamb… ”
The white robe has been whitened in the blood of the Lamb!
Martyrdom is an answer of love to Love who loves us.
“I have abandoned everything to follow Christ because I love the faults of Jesus”. This is what Msgr. Nguyen said when he preached the spiritual retreat at the Vatican in 2000 in the presence of Pope John Paul II.
And what are these faults of Jesus?
1. Jesus doesn’t have a good memory.
On the cross, he hears the one condemned to death say to Him: “Jesus, remember me when you will be in your kingdom.” Jesus could have said to him: “Yes, but at least… several years in Purgatory…”. “Today you will be with me in Paradise”.
2. Jesus doesn’t know his math.
In the parable of the lost sheep (Lk. 15,4-7), for Jesus one sheep is equal to 99!
3. Jesus doesn’t know logics.
When the woman finds her lost money, she calls her neighbors to tell them: “Rejoice with me, for I have found the money that I had lost”. To call neighbors to celebrate…that will cost her much more than the money found! “The heart has reasons that reason cannot know” (Pascal, Thoughts n. 477)
4. Jesus is an adventurer.
Those who want to succeed in politics or economics take care of their publicity. For Jesus, there is nothing in that field. All that he suggests seems to be doomed to fail beforehand (cf. the program of the Beatitudes that seems impossible to live). For those who follow it, He suggests persecutions and lawsuits.
5. Jesus doesn’t know finances or economics.
In the parable of the workers sent to work in the vineyard, we assist in a salary scene that would be catastrophic for any company. Jesus presents himself here as an irresponsible administrator.

Why does Jesus have these faults? Because He is Love! True love doesn’t calculate, doesn’t place conditions!
Fr. Giuliano finished his retreat with these words: “The passion for the Kingdom that our founder put at the heart of our Congregations is a flame that burns in the depths of our existence.

In the shadow of the cross, we are all united with those who accepted to give their lives “a drop at a time”.
In faithfulness, possibly not even seeing many results, not receiving many bonuses, except that of answering by their life to the affection that they felt surrounded by through their vocation that called them from the midst of the world.”

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