Friday, April 29, 2011

Pope: Christians transform society to express solidarity and respect for the dignity of all

Christians are "citizens of another city," but this is not an “alienation” from the reality of this world. Indeed, by witnessing with their lives their being "new men" they can promote the transformation of society.  

This is the 'meaning' of Easter, on which Benedict XVI invited the 25 thousand people in St. Peter's Square to reflect during his general audience. 

The meaning of Easter lies in the "true understanding of the resurrection": it is not “a simple return to the previous life, as was the case for Lazarus, but it is something completely new and different”, it "is the door to a life no longer subject to the lapsing of time, a life immersed in God's eternity in the resurrection of Jesus begins a new condition of human being, that enlightens and transforms our daily journey and opens a qualitatively different and new future for all 'humanity'.

In this context Saint Paul links the resurrection of Christians to that of Jesus and shows how we must live the Paschal Mystery in our daily life. In his Letter to Colossians, he says, "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth."  

"At first glance, reading this text, it might seem that it intends to foster contempt of earthly realities, that it is inviting us to forget about this world of suffering, injustice, sin, to live in advance of a heavenly paradise. The thought of heaven in this case would be a kind of alienation.

But to grasp the true meaning of these statements, they should not be separated from the context. What Paul "means by things of above” that the Christian must seek, and the things on the earth, which he must guard against”. 

The things of the earth that are necessary to avoid are “impurity, immorality, passions, evil desire and greed that is idolatry. We must allow the insatiable desire for material goods, selfishness, the root of all sin die within us "because they belong to" the old man, of which the Christian must divest himself, to vest himself in Christ. "

The "things above", that the Christian is required to seek "is concerned with what belongs to the new man": it is "the feelings of tenderness, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, forbearing one another and forgiving one another. But above all these things being vested in charity, which unites all of these things in a perfect manner. Thus St. Paul, is far from inviting Christians, each of us to escape from the world in which God has placed us. It is true that we are citizens of another city, our true home, but we must travel the path to this goal every day on this earth. " 

"And this is the way we transform not only ourselves, but we transform the world, we give the earthly city a new face to encourage the development of man and society according to the logic of solidarity, goodness, in profound respect for the inherent dignity of each person.
Of the virtues that must accompany Christian life "at the summit there is charity, to which all others are related as the source and the matrix. It summarizes and condenses the things of heaven: charity, in faith and hope, is the great rule of Christian life and defines the inner nature". 

Every Christian, therefore, if he lives the experience of the resurrection, "is a new leaven for the world, giving themselves wholeheartedly to the most urgent and most just causes, as evidenced by the testimonies of the saints."  

"The expectations of our time are also many”.   

We Christians must be witnesses of this bright new life that Easter brought. Easter is therefore a gift to accept ever more deeply in the faith, to operate in any situation, with the grace of Christ according to God's logic, the logic of love.