April 29 – St. Catherine of Siena

To die to live

At that time Jesus said in reply, “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him. Mt 11,25-27

There is in the gospel a way to lose which is a victory and a way to die which is life, there is a weakness which becomes strength, a wealth which goes across the poverty of the spirit and an ownership which is discovered in the way to donate; and there is a way to find the life by losing it. In the today gospel we read that the mystery is kept hidden to the wise and to the intelligent people and it is revealed to the childlike. “ Yes, Father, because you decided it due to your good will”. We wonder, then: “ Why all which is important for the world, is marginal or negative in the kingdom of the heaven?”  There would be an important reason because of which, in the temptations of the desert, Jesus refused  the glory, the power and the wealth; and if, to save the world, he had to die on the cross. Because this seems to be the light motive of the history of the salvation, we have to infer that the categories of the thinking of God are exactly the contrary of those of the man. Why? To find the reason of it, we have to go back to the first act of arrogance of the man, by the beginning of the times. God said to the man: “You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and bad. From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die.”(Gn 2,16-17). In other words, the deep understanding of the reason of the life and of the essence of the things would have been to remain a God prerogative. But the snake said to the woman: “You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad”  (Gn 3,4-5). And the man and the woman ate the forbidden fruit. In that moment far away in the time God has put in practice the history of the salvation and silently challenged the man: ”You want to be similar to me! Let’s see if you are capable to donate to me the life as I am able to donate it to you!”. This challenge materialized when Jesus Christ, Son of God and God himself, offered his life on the cross for the salvation of the man. Since the original sin ahead, all the people who converted themselves and married the project of God, both in the Ancient and the New Testament, discovered that a way to lose which is a victory and a way to die which is life exists. But they also discovered that the  mystery kept hidden to the wise and to the intelligent people has been revealed also to them.

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