Asking ourselves how we respond to the love of Christ, if it is a love like that of Paul, for whom " no one can separate me from the love of Christ ," or like "unfaithful" Jerusalem of which Jesus himself says, "you were unwilling to be loved, and entrusted yourself to many idols, which promised you everything and then abandoned you".
This is the question posed by Pope Francis, who this morning celebrated Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, at the altar of Blessed John Paul II's tomb. There were more than a hundred priests and many faithful.
The Pope commented on the readings of the day: the letter of St Paul to the Romans where the Apostle of the Gentiles speaks of his love for Christ and the Gospel of St. Luke in which Jesus weeps over Jerusalem, which did not understand it was loved by him.
"In these readings - said Francis - there are two things that strike us. First, Paul's certainty: ' Nothing will be able to separate usfrom the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.' But he loved the Lord so much - because he had seen him , he had found him, the Lord had changed his life - he loved him so much that he said that nothing could separate him from this love. Precisely this love of the Lord was the center, the very center of the life of Paul. In persecution, in disease, in betrayal, in his every experience, all these things that happened in his life, none of this could separate him from the love of Christ. It was the center of his own life, the point of reference: the love of Christ. "
"And without the love of Christ, without experiencing this love, recognizing, nurturing that love, you can not be a Christian: the Christian feels the Lord's gaze, that beautiful gaze, loved by the Lord and loved to the very end. feels ... the Christian feels that his life was saved by the blood of Christ. And this is love: this is a loving relationship. That's the first thing that really strikes me".
"The other thing that strikes me is this sadness of Jesus, when he looks at Jerusalem. ' But you, O Jerusalem, you who did not understand love'. It did not understand the tenderness of God, with that beautiful image that Jesus depicts. It did not understand the love of God : the opposite of what he Paul felt. But yes, God loves me , God loves us, but it is something abstract, something that does not touch my heart and arrange my life as I can. There is no loyalty there. And Jesus' cry from the heart for Jerusalem is this: ' Jerusalem , you were unwilling to be loved, and entrusted yourself to many idols, which promised you everything and then abandoned you'. At the heart of Jesus , the suffering of Jesus' love : a love that is not accepted , not welcomed".
"These two icons today: that of Paul, who remains faithful to the love of Jesus to the end, with the strength to go forward, to bear everything . He feels himself weak, a sinner, but has the strength in that ' love of God, in that encounter that he had with Jesus Christ. On the other hand, the unfaithful city and its people, unfaithful, who do not accept the love of Jesus , or even worse , huh? Who live this love but only half way: a little ' yes, a little ' no, according to their own convenience. Just look at Paul with his courage that comes from this love, and at Jesus who weeps over the city, which is untrue. Let's look at Paul's faithfulness and Jerusalem's infidelity, and at Jesus, his heart, who loves us so much. What do can we do? That is the question: Are we like Paul or Jerusalem ? Is my love for God strong like that of Paul or my heart a luke warm heart like that of Jerusalem? May the Lord, through the intercession of Blessed John Paul II, help us to answer this question . So be it . "