Easter of Christ: "Be merciful as the Father is"
Dear brothers and sisters of Calabrian Family,
During the celebration of Easter, I address you all with fraternal Easter wishes with the longing that the holy mysteries we celebrate in these days find recognition and real realization in our lives.
The Lord visits us with the power of his cross, death and resurrection, opening us to his merciful love, gifting us a new life that flows from His Resurrection. This extraordinary event deeply touches our Christian and consecrated life to live the joy of a Calabrian gospel with radicality.
Thinking, meditating and contemplating the Paschal event in this year of mercy reminds me the invitation of Jesus "Be merciful just as your Father is merciful" (Lk. 6:36). It is not simply a phrase or slogan to repeat; it is a program of life to meditate and live profoundly throughout this Jubilee year. Personally, I believe like each one of you, and feel the need to make an inner journey that leads us to a true experience of the merciful Father; His love, and clemency.
This experience can spring only from the Resurrection of Christ, and in the mystery of his passion, death and resurrection that shows us and extends us the touch of the merciful love of the Father. A love that forgives heals and fills us with joy, making us his friends, redeemed by His precious blood: "No one has a greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends ..." (Jn. 15:13).
Our charism of reviving faith in God, the provident Father, occur in the expression of the merciful face of the Father. Fr. Calabria wrote: "From this holy Mount, Providence radiates his light, makes his voice heard, invites to meditate, reflects His marvels, goodness and mercy for all" (Don Calabria, 26-11 -1931).
Mercy, in the mind of Fr. Calabria, is a new creation, because God would never "throw" us away. He, like the potter, reshuffles and modifies us. The Father is not ashamed of our faults and infirmities; actually, he takes them upon himself. God is close to humans because he loves what is lost, what is insignificant, what is side-lined, weak, exhausted, and trivial. He seeks to break into our lives and unfold us his love, intimacy and grace.
If we want to describe a gesture, how mercy could be experienced in Calabrian spirituality we think of a mother with open arms, taking care of her children; with her healing love. Nothing escapes his gaze, because he looks with eyes of tenderness. His voice constantly calls everyone with kindness and compassion. Besides Mercy has a special design for the current time and matures in pain, persecutions and trials of daily life. It never stops, but always move towards those who open their hearts; is infinite, with no boundaries to reach all.
In a globalized society, constantly threatened by violence and side-lining situations, where words like, "mercy", "caring", "assuming responsibility", "Forgiveness", "gratuitousness", "tenderness", "compassion", are ... frequently replaced by personal interests, profit, power and arrogance, we became convinced that free, self-giving and solidarity have no more space in the heart, eyes and hands of humans.
We, members of the Calabrian family, with the strength and the experience of the Loving Father that comes from the Resurrection of Christ, are called to make a difference, going against the current ways of thinking and acting that follows the methods dictated by this world and not the criteria of the gospel.
We have to bring our heart to the world fringe. A heart full of mercy and compassion; able to love humans with all its miseries, not scared and stop judging with superficially exteriors. This is our fundamental mission, to show and witness the Paternity of God to the world. We are called to heal wounds with the oil of consolation and the wine of hope, binding them with mercy and solidarity.
A heart that experiences mercy working with mercy and touched in all its depth remains open to conversion to resemble more and more to the heart of Jesus and thus have His very feelings.
Let us open our hearts to the poor, welcome with compassion the different realities and situations of poverty, to witness the merciful love of the Father! "Be merciful as your Father is merciful."
May the Risen Lord grant us the gift a living joy of a love that is continually renewed and re-created in His Easter and makes us ever more sensitive and compassionate!
I remember you all in my prayers. Pray for me. May Lord bless you!
(Easter Greetings from the Casante, Fr. Miguel Toful, PSDP)