Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
In this Sunday’s Gospel echoes one of the most incisive words of Jesus: “Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it” ( Lk 9:24).
Here is a summary of the message of Christ, and is expressed in a paradox very effective, which makes us to know his way of speaking, almost makes us feel his voice … But what does it mean to “lose his life for the cause of Jesus “? This can happen in two ways: explicitly or implicitly confessing the faith, defending the truth. The martyrs are the best example of losing one’s life for Christ. In two thousand years have a host immense men and women who sacrificed their lives to remain faithful to Jesus Christ and his Gospel. And today, in many parts of the world, there are many, many, – more than in the first centuries – so many martyrs who give their lives to Christ, who are brought to death for not denying Jesus Christ. This is our Church. Today we have more martyrs in the early centuries! But there is also the daily martyrdom, which do not result in death but also is a “loss of life” for Christ, doing his duty with love, according to the logic of Jesus, the logic of gift and sacrifice. We think, how many dads and moms every day put into practice their faith offering through their lives for the good of the family! We think of these! How many priests, monks, nuns play with generosity their service to the kingdom of God! How many young people give up their interests to devote to children, disabled, elderly … These too are martyrs! Martyrs Newspapers, martyrs of everyday life!
And then there are so many people, Christians and non-Christians who “lose his life” for the truth. And Christ said “I am the truth” and those who serve the truth serves Christ. One of these people, who gave his life for the truth, is John the Baptist own tomorrow, 24 June, is his great feast, the feast of his birth. John was chosen by God to prepare the way before Jesus, and he indicated to the people of Israel as the Messiah, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (cf. Jn 1:29). John devoted himself entirely to God and his messenger, Jesus, but in the end, what happened? It ‘died for the cause of truth, when he denounced the adultery of King Herod and Herodias. How many people pay dearly for their commitment to the truth! How many righteous men prefer to go against the current, so as not to deny the voice of conscience, the voice of truth! Righteous people, who are not afraid to go against the grain! And we must not be afraid! Among you there are so many young people.To you I say: Do not be afraid to go against the tide, when we want to steal hope, when we offer these values that are damaged, values as the meal went bad and when a meal has gone bad, it hurts us, and these values make us sick. We have to go against the grain! And you young people, be the first: Go against this and have pride to just go against the grain. Go on, be brave and go against the grain! And be proud of it!
Dear friends, we welcome with joy the word of Jesus’ proposal for a rule of life for everyone. And St. John the Baptist to help us put it into practice. On this path before us, as always, our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary: she has lost her life to Jesus to the Cross, and he received it in its fullness, with all the light and beauty of the Resurrection. May Mary help us to always do our most to the logic of the Gospel.
After the Angelus
Remember well: Do not be afraid to go against the grain! Be brave! And so, as we do not want to eat a meal gone bad, do not we bring these values that are battered and ruining his life, and takes away hope. Come on!
I greet you with affection, families, church groups, associations, schools. I greet the students of Liceo diocesan VIPAVA in Slovenia, the Polish community of Ascoli Piceno; UNITALSI of Ischia di Castro, the boys of the Oratory of Urgnano – I see their flag, Well done, you’re good! – The faithful of Pordenone, the Sisters and operators Hospital “Miulli” of Acquaviva delle Fonti, a group of union delegates from the Veneto.
I wish you all a good Sunday!
Pray for me and good lunch!