God never tires of us, can we say the same?

The way of the Cross is the image of our Christian life, since he has left us a model for us to follow in his footsteps.

February 23, 2024-Reading time: 3 minutes

Once again the Lenten journey is before us! Once again, the Lord prepares for us this time of grace and consolation, of conversion, penance and authentic freedom. "Let's go through all times - reminds us of St. Clement the Pope's letter to the Corinthians - and we will learn how the Lord, from generation to generation, always granted a time of penance to those who wished to be converted to Him.".

In recent days, I have read in greater detail the first letter of St. Peter. The apostle knows well and takes on board the difficulties, setbacks and sufferings in which the ordinary life of those first brothers and sisters of ours in the faith unfolded. They live "afflicted in various trials" (1,6). The pagans mock them. The Apostle, however, exhorts them, with force, not to turn back, not to conform to the desires of before their conversion and baptism. They live in a pagan society that mocks their new way of life.

The temptation is great to look back on your life, to conform".to the old"and not to complicate our lives. And this temptation is perennial throughout our lives. The apostle, in the face of this strong temptation, invites them and invites us to look to Jesus Christ, to never take our eyes off him, "...".Whom you love without having seen Him; in Whom you believe, though you do not see Him for the time being." (1,8). He sets Christ crucified before them so that they may follow in his footsteps: "..." (1:8).For to this you have been called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow in his footsteps (....) who, when he was insulted, did not respond with insults; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but placed himself in the hands of him who judges justly."(2:21 ff.). The way of the Cross is the image of our Christian life, since he has left us a model for us to follow in his footsteps. 

In personal life, in family life, in the life of society, in their relationship with the authorities, Christians, no matter what happens, must follow the same conduct of Christ crucified. Not to respond to insult with insult, not to threaten, but to be compassionate, to love as brothers, to be merciful and humble (cf. 3:8). Do not return evil for evil, nor insult for insult.

Lent is a journey of conversion and true freedom, as the Lord invites us to do. Holy Father in his Message for Lent 2024: "God never tires of us. Let us embrace Lent as the strong time when his Word addresses us again. "I am the Lord, your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of a place of slavery." (Ex 20:2).

It is a time of conversion, a time of freedom. We will always be tempted to return to the "old ways", to go back to Egypt, to live like pagans, to adapt ourselves, to not complicate our lives.

Jesus himself was tempted. During these forty days of Lent and throughout our lives He will be with us to accompany us, sustain us and encourage us in our struggle because we are His children."very dear" (cf. Mk 1:11).

To the extent that our conversion is ever more sincere, to that same extent we ourselves will feel, together with the whole Christian community, freer, happier and happier, and humanity itself will feel the sparkle of a new hope. 

It is the courage of conversion, of coming out of slavery; it is the courage of faith and charity that lead hand in hand to the hope of a more human, more fraternal, more Christian world.  

The authorCelso Morga

Archbishop of the Diocese of Mérida Badajoz

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