Yet again this year we have the joy of meditating on the Lenten message of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, with you.
Once more, the Holy Father reminds us, as he did at the start of his Pontificate with his encyclical Deus Caritas est, of the essence of our faith.; “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” (Desus Caritas est, no 1); With these words, the Holy Father clearly says what Christianity is not!; It is not an ideology or a moral code but something much more!; Our belief comes from an historic event, a Fact:; the Person, Jesus Christ, born in Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth, died and rose in Jerusalem.; The historic nature of our belief is important, so important that our Holy Father has dedicated his last three books to this subject.
Let us now see have the Pope continues to affirm that this meeting with this Fact, this Person, Jesus Christ, changes our lives.; Our lives change when Christ’s message is freely welcomed so that it can give our existence new meaning, a new horizon and a new direction.
Faith must work in love and the Christian, knowing in an extraordinary way that God loves him, pours this love out on his neighbour.;; The Holy Father warns us that it is wrong to offset the two greatest virtues of faith and love “it is ….. unhelpful to overstate the primacy of charity and the activity it generates, as if works could take the place of faith. For a healthy spiritual life, it is necessary to avoid both fideism and moral activism.” (Benedict XVI Lenten Message, no 3)
It is important to remember that our intimate relationship with God grows daily and this gives rise to operational and sincere charity towards our neighbour, which is primarily manifested through evangelization.; “ It is the primordial truth of God’s love, grace bestowed upon us, that opens our lives to gift and makes it possible to hope for a “development of the whole man and of all men.”; (Caritas in veritate, no 8)
It is this partnership between faith and love which is the foundation of our faith. In fact, it was; for love that Jesus became man and died for us.; His mission of love continues today as He; extends His love towards us with infinite mercy.; Therefore let us make Lent a time of profound prayer and reflection on His Word that confirms the fact that “this Love is the only reality that can be victorious over evil and death”