In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Gospel is infinitely simple if we receive it in simplicity. Our main problem
lies in the fact that we look for theological depth in it instead of looking at
the directness of the speech of God, who is simplicity itself, wholeness, and
who addresses us as friends, not even as disciples, but as friends; because He
Himself said, on His way to Jerusalem, 'I no longer call you slaves, but I call
you friends, because all that I have to say I have shared with you.'
And so let us receive the words which we have heard today with the directness
with which they were spoken by Christ: 'Do to one another what you wish others
to do to you.'
It's something which we have seen repeated all the time; but is it the way in
which we live? We want from people around us understanding, patience,
compassion, support, friendship and all the simplicity of this world. We don't
expect from us heroic deeds, because we are not in heroic times and situations.
But that is what we expect to receive. And if we ask ourselves: what do we do
about the people who surround us, can we say that we are fulfilling this simple
and direct commandment, this advice of Christ in which He says: 'If you do these
things you will be truly human'?
Let us reflect on that, because we think very often of things great, of things
heroic, and when we think these great thoughts we must find the simplest things
that we could do. When we read in the Gospel that we should give our lives for
one another, we think that we can't do it, because there is no attempt at an
attack on the life of our neighbour, certainly of our closest. And yet to give
one's life means to devote one's life, to devote all one's energy, all one's
understanding, all the patience, all the concern, all the sympathy, to all those
who surround us. To do, in other words, as Christ put it, to others what we wish
that others do to us.
Let us reflect on this very, very simple commandment, and see that we bring it
at every moment; because we expect everything, and we give so little. We give
indeed to those who are dear to us, naturally dear, but even they must put up,
so often, with our lack of understanding and patience and compassion. Let us
reflect on these simple and direct words of Christ and stand in judgement before
them; ask ourselves how can I stand before Christ when He will say to me, 'You
have heard these words, you have understood them, you have repeated them' -
indeed, for us priests - 'you have preached them. And what have you done?’ And
how sorry it will be to look at Christ and say, 'I have claimed to be your
disciple but in fact I have done nothing of what you have wished me to do to
save other people from misery, from loneliness, from evil’. Amen.