Friday of the Second week of Easter
"He broke the loaves and gave them to his disciples" (Mt 14,19)
Apostolic Exhortation « Evangelii Gaudium / The Joy of the Gospel » §46-49 (trans. © copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana)
"He broke the loaves and gave them to his disciples who, in turn, gave them to the crowds" (Mt 14,19)
A Church which “goes forth” is a Church whose doors are open... The Church is called to be the house of the Father, with doors always wide open... Everyone can share in some way in the life of the Church; everyone can be part of the community, nor should the doors of the sacraments be closed for simply any reason. This is especially true of the sacrament which is itself “the door”: baptism. The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak... But the Church is not a tollhouse; it is the house of the Father, where there is a place for everyone, with all their problems.
If the whole Church takes up this missionary impulse, she has to go forth to everyone without exception. But to whom should she go first? When we read the Gospel we find a clear indication: not so much our friends and wealthy neighbours, but above all the poor and the sick, those who are usually despised and overlooked, “those who cannot repay you” (Lk 14:14). There can be no room for doubt or for explanations which weaken so clear a message. Today and always, “the poor are the privileged recipients of the Gospel” (Benedict XVI)... We have to state, without mincing words, that there is an inseparable bond between our faith and the poor. May we never abandon them.
Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ... If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life... At our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: “Give them something to eat” (Mt 14,16; Mk 6:37; Lk 9,13).
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