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Pope Francis Remember the first Encounter 27.04.20


Pope Francis:  Remember the first Encounter 27.04.20



Pope Francis  27.04.20 Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)   Monday of the Third Week of Easter      John 6: 22-29

Pope Francis Remember the First Encounter with Jesus 27.04.20
 

Let us pray today for artists, who have this great capacity for creativity and through beauty show us the way forward. May the Lord give us all the grace of creativity at this time.

The people who had listened to Jesus throughout the day, and then had this grace of the multiplication of loaves and saw the power of Jesus, wanted to make him king. First they went to Jesus to hear the word and also to ask for the sick to be healed. They stayed all day listening to Jesus without getting bored, without getting tired or being tired, but they were there, happy. But then when they saw that Jesus fed them, which they did not expect, they thought: "But he would be a good leader for us and surely he will be able to free us from the power of the Romans and take the country forward". And they were enthusiastic to make him king. Their intention changed, because they saw and thought: "Well ... a person who does this miracle, who feeds the people, can be a good leader." But they had forgotten at that moment the enthusiasm that the word of Jesus gave rise to in their hearts.

Jesus left and went to pray. These people stayed there, and next day they were looking for Jesus, "because he must be here" they said, because they had seen that he had not boarded the boat with the others. And there was a boat there, it stayed there . But they did not know that Jesus had joined the others by walking on the water. So they decided to go to the other side of the Sea of Tiberias to look for Jesus, and when they saw him, the first word they say to him was ( "Rabbi, when did you get here?", as if saying: "We do not understand, this seems a strange thing".

And Jesus makes them return to their first feelings, to what they had before the multiplication of the loaves, when they listened to the word of God: "I say to you: you are looking for me not because you saw signs - as at the beginning, the sign of the word, that excited them, the signs of healing - not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled." Jesus reveals their intention and says: "But this is how you have changed your attitude." And they, instead of justifying themselves: "No, Lord, no...", were humble. Jesus continues: "Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life and that the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal." And being good they said, "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?" and Jesus says "Believe in the Son of God." This is a case in which Jesus corrects the attitude of the people, of the crowd, because they had gradually distanced themselves from the first spiritual consolation and had taken a path that was not right, a path more worldly than evangelical.

This makes us think that so many times in life we begin to follow Jesus, behind Jesus, with the values of the Gospel, and halfway there comes another idea, we see some signs and we turn away and conform with something more temporal, more material, more worldly, perhaps, and we lose the memory of that first enthusiasm that we had when we heard Jesus speak. The Lord always brings us back to the first encounter, to the first moment when he looked at us, spoke to us and aroused within us the desire to follow him. This is a grace to ask the Lord, because we in life will always have this temptation to move away because we see something else: "But that will be fine, but that idea is good...". We're moving away. The grace to always return to the first call, to the first moment: do not forget, do not forget my story, when Jesus looked at me with love and said to me: "This is your path"; when Jesus through so many people made me understand the path of the Gospel and not other somewhat worldly paths, with other values. Go back to the first encounter.

It has always struck me that among the things Jesus says on the morning of the Resurrection: "Go to my disciples and tell them to go to Galilee, there they will find me", Galilee was the place of the first meeting. There they had met Jesus. Each of us has our own "Galilee" within us, our own moment when Jesus approached us and said, "Follow me." In life similar things happen to us like what happened with these good people, and then they say to him: "But what should we do?", and they obeyed right away - it happens that we move away and look for other values, other ways of interpretation, other things, and we lose the freshness of the first call. The author of the letter to the Hebrews also reminds us of this: "Remember the first days." The memory, the memory of the first encounter, the memory of "my Galilee", when the Lord looked at me with love and said, "Follow me."