S. John Paul II Homil. 281
Cathedral of Saint Joseph (Edmonton)
Sunday, 16 September 1984
Dear Brothers and Sisters, my fellow Christians, and all of you who have come here this evening in order to pray, to pay honour to the mystery of God.
1. On this Sunday evening in Edmonton, the evening of the first day of the week when we Christians celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord, we come together in prayer in this beautiful Cathedral of Saint Joseph. We are gathered in the joy of our common Baptism, in the power of the word of God, and in the peace and love of Christ, whom we proclaim as the Light of the world and the supreme manifestation of God. I invite you all to reflect with me this evening on the mystery of the presence of God.
As men and women of faith, we believe that God is present in his creation, that he is the Lord of history who directs the times and the seasons, that he is near to all who call upon him: the poor and the dejected, the sorrowing and the lonely, the weak and the oppressed. We believe that God breaks through the silence, and even the noise, of our daily lives, revealing to us his truth and his love. He wishes to dispel our fear and strengthen our hope in his saving mercy.
God personally speaks to the heart of every individual, but he also acts through the community of people whom he predestines to be his own. We see this first in the history of the Jewish people. Through Abraham, our father in faith, through Isaac and Jacob, and in particular through Moses, God called a people to belong to him in a special way. He entered into a covenant with them, saying: "I will be their God and they shall be my people" (Ier. 31, 33). When his chosen ones sinned and went their own way, forgetting the God who saved them, God in his never-ending love intervened in their lives by means of the Prophets. He called the people to repentance and promised to establish with them a new and better covenant. This New Covenant he described in this way: "Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts... They will all know me, the least no less than the greatest, since I will forgive their iniquity and never call their sin to mind" (Ibid. 31, 33-34).
And how did God establish this New Covenant? How did he write his law on the hearts of his chosen ones? With the Blood of Jesus, the Blood of the Lamb of God, the Blood of the New and Everlasting Covenant, our Saviour’s Blood, which is the price of our Redemption and the most eloquent expression possible of the love of God for the world.
282 2. The presence of God is embodied in its fullness in Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God who became the Son of Mary and who shed his Blood for us on the Cross. Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us, the Word made flesh, the revelation of the eternal Father. Before this great mystery of the presence of God, we stand in awe and reverence, and our hearts and voices long to break forth in songs and hymns of praise. And indeed this is most appropriate, for the first duty of a creature is to glorify the Creator, the first duty of a redeemed people is to praise their Lord and Saviour. That is why I am so pleased to join you tonight in this Evening Service of Praise. How good it is, as brothers and sisters in Christ, to join our voices in "psalms and hymns and inspired songs"! (Col 3,16)
Psalm 103, which we are praying together this evening, shows us a person whose whole being is filled with the praise of God:
"My soul, give thanks to the Lord, / all my being, bless his holy name. / My soul, give thanks to the Lord / and never forget all his blessings" (Ps 103,1-2).
"Never forget all his blessings": a heart filled with praise never forgets the many blessings of God. For the prayer of praise involves an act of remembering with gratitude, remembering all the ways that God has shown his saving love. And so the Psalmist declares:
"It is he who forgives all your guilt, / who heals every one of your ills, / who redeems your life from the grave, / who crowns you with love and compassion, / who fills your life with good things, / renewing your youth like an eagle’s" (Ibid.3-5).
The prayer of praise proceeds from a humble awareness of our unworthiness and our total dependence on God, combined with a childlike trust in God’s abundant mercy. And so the Psalmist continues:
"As a father has compassion on his sons, / the Lord has pity on those who fear him. / For he knows of what we are made, / he remembers that we are dust" (Ibid.13-14).
To praise the Lord is also to acclaim the many attributes of God, to extol the qualities of this great and holy God who has established a covenant with his people. Thus the Psalmist says:
"The Lord is compassion and love, / slow to anger and rich in mercy... / His justice reaches out to children’s children / when they keep his covenant in truth" (Ibid.8. 17-18).
3. Living in the presence of God, Christians break forth in acclamation and praise, expressing gratitude for the gift of faith and for all the saving deeds of the Lord. But we must also turn to God with prayers of petition, seeking from the Lord shelter and safety from the forces of evil, forgiveness of our sins and healing of our wounded lives, strength to bear life’s burdens and grace to fulfil God’s will. Often the prayer of petition must be made with a sense of urgency and pleading. And so, the man in Psalm 141 cries out:
"I have called to you, Lord; hasten to help me! / Hear my voice when I cry to you... / To you, Lord God, my eyes are turned: / in you I take refuge, spare my soul!" (Ps 141,1 Ps 141,8).
283 The prayer of petition springs from a humble awareness of one’s great need for God’s grace, and from a deep trust in the powerful mercy of God. Thus, it is accompanied by an attitude of adoration. We kneel, at least in spirit, in the awesome presence of Almighty God, and the words that we utter are like those of the Psalmist who pleads:
"Let my prayer arise before you like incense / the raising of my hands like an evening oblation" (Ibid. 2)
4. Our Saviour promised us: "Where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them" (Mt 18,20). We know that this is true this evening as we Christians join together in common prayer. The presence of Christ fills this cathedral as we praise his name, and as we pray for that perfect unity among Christians which he wills for his followers.
La prière authentique se prolonge en service généreux, c’est pourquoi nous n’oublions pas ce soir les besoins immenses de nos frères et soeurs qui souffrent à travers le monde. Fidèles à répondre au Seigneur, dont l’Esprit Saint a inspiré le mouvement oecuménique, non seulement nous prions ensemble et nous ouvrons un dialogue théologique entre nous, mais nous collaborons par un effort mené en commun pour promouvoir un monde où règnent davantage la justice et la paix. En nous aidant les uns les autres, nous cherchons à devenir “le sel de la terre” et “la lumière du monde” (Mt 5,11-16). De cette manière, nous proclamons ensemble la Bonne Nouvelle de la présence de Dieu dans le monde en la personne de Jésus-Christ, qui est un avec son Eglise.
5. L’admirable prière que nous appelons le “Magnificat” et que nous disons ensemble ce soir, oriente nos esprits vers Dieu et vers sa présence salvifique dans l’histoire humaine. Elle attire aussi notre attention sur Marie, Mère de notre Sauveur. Cette femme, avec sa foi, reste aujourd’hui pour nous un modèle de sainteté de vie. D’une manière particulière, elle a fait l’expérience de la présence de Dieu dans sa vie quand elle est devenue la Mère de notre Rédempteur. Femme au coeur rempli de la louange de Dieu, elle célébra la grandeur de Dieu, en exaltant sa bonté pour les pauvres et les humbles, en proclamant sa miséricorde envers toutes les générations. Avec Marie, nous unissons nos voix pour louer “la grandeur du Seigneur” (Lc 1,46).
We do this above all in union with Jesus Christ, who remains for ever the Light of the world, and who offers us the light of life (Jn 8,12). Dearly beloved friends: let us receive this light from him and walk in this light, for the glory of his Father, who lives and reigns with the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.
Monday, 17 September 1984
"I will hear what the Lord God has to say,
a voice that speaks of peace.
Mercy and faithfulness have met;
284 justice and peace have embraced"
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
1. These are words of today’s liturgy, taken from the Responsorial Psalm. The God of the Covenant is a God of peace. Peace on earth is a good that belongs to his Kingdom and to his salvation. This good is obtained in justice and faithfulness to the divine commandments. This good, which is peace, is promised to us in different spheres: as the interior good of our conscience, as the good of our human living together, and finally as a social and international good.
This last meaning was above all what Paul VI had in mind when he wrote these memorable words: "The new name for peace is development". And he wrote these words in the Encyclical "Populorum Progressio".
2. Today we come together here in Edmonton to make this theme of the development or progress of peoples the principal object of our meditations and prayers in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. In this Eucharistic community is gathered first of all the whole Church of the Archdiocese of Edmonton. And I wish indeed to greet this Church with its Pastor, Archbishop MacNeil, as well as the Eparchy of Edmonton of the Ukrainians together with Bishop Savaryn and Bishop Greschuk. I also acknowledge with deep gratitude the presence of the large group of faithful from Saskatchewan, who have brought their crosses to be blessed. I likewise embrace in the love of Christ Jesus our Lord all the pilgrims and visitors. The refugees from Central America, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe have a special place in my heart.
I wish to greet all those who have come from other Dioceses of Alberta, from Grouard-McLennan, Calgary and St. Paul; also from British Columbia and the Northwest Territory, as well as visitors from the United States. Likewise I greet each ethnic and cultural group including the German-speaking Ukrainians, Italians, Portuguese, Spanish, Lithuanian, Slovak, Bohemian, Croatian, Hungarian, Polish, Filipinos, Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese. To all of you who are here today, grace and peace in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Saviour of the world.
Considering our theme, I think that in a certain sense all Canada shares in this meeting at Edmonton. If the theme was proposed by the local community, it was certainly done so with a thought towards the whole society for which the cause of the development of peoples is a question of greatest importance and social and international responsibility. Especially since this "development" or "progress" is the new name for "peace".
3. The liturgy leads us to consider this important theme, first of all, as it is presented in the twenty-fifth chapter of Saint Matthew’s Gospel.
We have listened today to the Gospel about the final judgment with the same emotion as always. This passage touches some of the most fundamental questions of our faith and morality. These two fields are strictly linked to each other. Perhaps no other passage in the Gospel speaks of their relationship in such a convincing way.
Our faith in Jesus Christ finds here a kind of final expression: The "Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son" (Jn 5,22). In today’s Gospel Christ stands before us as our Judge. He has a special right to make this judgment; indeed he became one of us, our Brother. This brotherhood with the human race - and at the same time his brotherhood with every single person - has led him to the Cross and the Resurrection. Thus he judges in the name of his solidarity with each person and likewise in the name of our solidarity with him, who is our Brother and Redeemer and whom we discover in every human being: "I was hungry . . . I was thirsty . . . I was a stranger . . . naked . . . sick . . . in prison . . " (Mt 25,35-36).
And those called to judgment - on his right hand and on his left - will ask: When and where? When and where have we seen you like this? When and where have we done what you said? Or: When and where have we not done it?
285 The answer: "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me" (Ibid. 25, 40). And, on the contrary: "As you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me" (Ibid. 25, 45).
4. "To one of the least of these my brethren". Thus: to man, to an individual human being in need.
Yet, the Second Vatican Council, following the whole of Tradition, warns us not to stop at an "individualistic" interpretation of Christian ethics, since Christian ethics also has its social dimension. The human person lives in a community, in society. And with the community he shares hunger and thirst and sickness and malnutrition and misery and all the deficiencies that result therefrom. In his or her own person the human being is meant to experience the needs of others.
So it is that Christ the Judge speaks of "one of the least of the brethren", and at the same time he is speaking of each and of all.
Yes. He is speaking of the whole universal dimension of injustice and evil. He is speaking of what today we are accustomed to call the North-South contrast. Hence not only East-West, but also North-South: the increasingly wealthier North, and the increasingly poorer South.
Yes, the South - becoming always poorer; and the North - becoming always richer. Richer too in the resources of weapons with which the superpowers and blocs can mutually threaten each other. And they threaten each other - such an argument also exists - in order not to destroy each other.
This is a separate dimension - and according to the opinion of many it is the dimension in the forefront - of the deadly threat which hangs over the modern world, which deserves separate attention.
Nevertheless, in the light of Christ’s words, this poor South will judge the rich North. And the poor people and poor nations - poor in different ways, not only lacking food, but also deprived of freedom and other human rights - will judge those people who take these goods away from them, amassing to themselves the imperialistic monopoly of economic and political supremacy at the expense of others.
5. The Gospel of today’s liturgy is very rich in content. It is relevant to the different spheres of injustice and human evil. In the midst of each of these situations stands Christ himself, and as Redeemer and Judge he says: "You did it to me", "you did it not to me".
Nevertheless he wishes, in this final judgment - which is constantly in preparation and which in a certain sense is constantly present - to bear witness first of all to the good that has been done.
And here also that significant expression of the teaching of the Church takes a start, whose principal formulation became the Encyclical "Populorum Progressio". What was the inner concern of Paul VI and the universal Church became a dynamic action and a loud appeal that echoes to this day: "It is not just a matter of eliminating hunger, or even of reducing poverty. The struggle against destitution, though urgent and necessary, is not enough. It is a question, rather, of building a world where every man, no matter what his race, religion or nationality, can live a fully human life, freed from servitude imposed on him by other men or by natural forces; a world where freedom is not an empty word and where the poor man Lazarus can sit down at the same table with the rich man" (Pauli VI, Populorum Progressio PP 47).
286 Yes, "development" is the new name for peace. Peace is necessary; it is an imperative of our time. And so is this development or progress: the progress of all the disadvantaged.
6. Today we pray in this spirit. Today’s liturgy emphasizes very clearly the link between justice and peace.
Look at the first reading from Isaiah: "There will be poured on us the spirit from above . . . Integrity will bring peace, justice give lasting security. My people will live in a peaceful home, in safe houses, in quiet dwellings" (Is 32,15 Is 32,17-18).
This was written by the Prophet centuries before Christ. How lasting and unchanging are the desires of individuals and peoples!
And later on, after Christ, the Apostle Paul writes in the Letter to the Philippians: "And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Ph 4,7).
Yet the condition for such peace is human behaviour in every dimension of existence. Hence, Saint Paul continues: "Fill your minds with everything that is true, everything that is noble, everything that is good and pure, everything that we love and honour, and everything that can be thought virtuous or worthy of praise. Keep doing all the things that you learned from me and have been taught by me and have heard or seen that I do. Then the God of peace will be with you" (Ph 4,8-9).
7. Nous prions aujourd’hui au Canada, dans cette ville d’Edmonton, pour le progrès des peuples. Nous prions donc, selon le sens des paroles du Pape Paul VI, pour la paix, parce que nous prions pour ce qui lui donne actuellement sa signification. Les paroles du prophète Isaïe et de l’Apôtre des Nations nous orientent dans le même sens. C’est ce pour quoi nous prions tandis que nous célébrons cette Eucharistie et que nous y participons.
Que notre prière monte jusqu’aux cieux! Que le Dieu de la paix soit avec nous!
Que le Dieu de la paix soit avec nous! Ce cri exprime aussi tout le drame de notre époque, toute la menace qui pèse sur elle. La menace nucléaire? Assurément!
Mais plus encore: toute la menace de l’injustice, la menace qui provient des structures rigides des systèmes dont l’homme ne peut éviter l’oppression - ces systèmes qui ne s’ouvrent pas assez pour qu’ils puissent aller vers l’homme, servir le développement des peuples, la justice avec toutes ses exigences, et la paix.
A travers le monde, le bilan ne semble-t-il pas s’aggraver sans cesse - le bilan de ce que nous “n’avons pas fait pour l’un des plus petits de nos frères?” pour des millions des plus petits de nos frères? pour des milliards?
287 Il faut également le dire ici, au Canada, qui est aussi vaste qu’un continent. Et en même temps ici, en ce lieu même, il faut dire à tous les hommes et les femmes de bonne volonté, et à tous les groupes, les communautés, les organisations, les institutions, les nations et les gouvernements, que ce qui importe vraiment, c’est tout ce que nous “avons fait” et ce que nous ferons encore, ce que nous projetterons et que nous ferons avec toujours plus d’énergie et de détermination.
Ainsi le bilan peut progresser, il doit progresser grâce à tout ce que nous “avons fait” pour une personne, pour des millions, des milliards de personnes: ce sera là le bilan positif de ce qui est bon dans l’histoire humaine.
The judgment spoken of in today’s Gospel is constantly being prepared and is already taking place: What you did for one . . . for millions . . . for billions, "you did it to me"!
May the God of peace be with us, here in Canada and everywhere.
May justice and peace embrace (Ps 85,10)once again at the end of the second millennium which prepares us for the coming of Christ, in glory. Amen.
Thank you very much for your participation. I should express my deep gratitude for the whole celebration of your faith in Edmonton, above all for the Archdiocese of Edmonton and the archdiocese of this region, including some parts of Saskatchewan. I thank you for yesterday’s reception along the streets. It was wonderful, and especially to the groups singing and dancing which met me during the day. And now I thank you with all my heart for this inter-religious prayer.
We are looking and working toward the unity of Christians, but we are looking also to the non-Christian religions, to the people who believe in God, who seek him as it is possible for everyone. And with all of them we unite ourselves going towards our common destiny, for this destiny is God himself. The Second Vatican Council deepened our conviction that all men and women of humanity are brothers and sisters, that we are all created by the same Creator, the same God our Father. We are all redeemed by the same Christ Jesus, Son of God; and God, his Spirit, the Holy Spirit, is working in the souls of every one of us, and that is this divine dimension of human existence. We are more and more discovering this divine dimension of human existence and we seek how to give expression to God. This inter-religious prayer was an example, and I thank you for this solemn Eucharist we just finished celebrating here at Edmonton. I thank you for your participation, for all the different preparations. With you I thank Providence for the sun and for the wind. I thank you for your prayers and for the marvellous songs of your choir. Thank you very much for your orchestra. With the same gratitude I repeat my welcome to all the groups, to all the ethnic groups.
And to all of you I repeat: praised, praised be God the Father, our Father, the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Thank you very much.
Abbotsford Airport (Vancouver)
Tuesday, 18 September 1984
"My soul, give thanks to the Lord,all my being, bless his holy name" (Ps 103,1).
288 1. With these words of today’s liturgy, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to address myself, together with all of you, to the God of Love. And I wish to do so through the mystery of the Heart of Christ.
I choose these words because they speak of our human heart - what the Psalm refers to as "all my being". It is precisely this that we have in mind when we speak of the "heart": our whole being, all that is within each one of us. All that forms us from within, in the depths of our being. All that makes up our entire humanity, our whole person in its spiritual and physical dimension. All that expresses itself as a unique and unrepeatable person in its "inner self" and at the same time in its "transcendence".
The words of the Psalm - "My soul give thanks to the Lord, all my being bless his holy name" - say that our human "heart" addresses God in all the unimaginable majesty of his divinity and his holiness and, at the same time, in his wonderful "openness" to mankind: in his "condescension".
In this way "heart" meets "Heart"; "heart" speaks to the "Heart".
2. In this spirit I wish also to greet all those taking part in our Eucharistic assembly - in this Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart - as well as all those who have come to express their good will and their respectful solidarity with this praying community.
I am deeply pleased that my visit to Canada has taken me to the City of Vancouver and this gathering place of God’s people. The city is indeed marvellously located between the mountains and the ocean, being the largest city of your Province, all of which is truly a land of splendour without diminishment: Splendor sine occasu!
The importance of your Province is certainly reflected in its forests, minerals, water, fruit and fishing, and in the beauty which attracts so many tourists. Of greater importance still are you, the people of this region. It is here that you live and work, striving to build a suitable human habitat and a just society. It is here that you struggle to solve the social problems that have become so much a part of the fabric of life in these parts. It is here that you continue your search for God and for the full meaning of human life, amid the struggle between good and evil. And to all of you today I offer the expression of my deep respect and fraternal love.
In particular I wish to greet all the Catholic faithful of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, under the leadership of Archbishop Carney. I am likewise deeply grateful for all who have made great efforts to come from other dioceses of British Columbia, Victoria, Kamploops, Nelson, Prince George, the Eparchy of New Westminster under the leadership of Bishop Chimy and the Pacific Northwest. And probably also from the United States. In the unity of the Eucharist I express my deep affection for all my brother bishops and for all the clergy, religious and laity of the Catholic Church.
In the charity of Christ I embrace all my fellow Christians who honour me by their presence today. I recall with sincere appreciation and respect the zealous efforts made last year in this city by the World Council of Churches to proclaim Jesus Christ to the world.
With fraternal esteem I also offer my warm greetings to the members of non-Christian religions and to all the citizens of this land who have no religious affiliation. Before all of you I attest to the Catholic Church’s deep interest and concern for the incomparable human dignity of every man, woman and child on this earth.
I am deeply grateful for the hospitality extended to me and for the invitation to celebrate this Eucharist. And it is in this context of public worship that I have come to you to proclaim Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God; to proclaim the invisible God whom he reveals; and to proclaim the divine love that he communicates to the world in the mystery of his Sacred Heart.
289 3. When we say "Heart of Jesus Christ", we address ourselves in faith to the whole Christological mystery: the mystery of the God-Man.
This mystery is expressed in a rich and profound way by the texts of today’s liturgy. These are the words of the Apostle Paul in his Letter to the Colossians:
"Christ Jesus is the image of the unseen God / and the firstborn of all creation, / for in him were created / all things in heaven and on earth: / everything visible and everything invisible, / Thrones, Dominations, Sovereignties, Powers" (Col 15-16).
These last words refer precisely to the "invisible" beings: the creatures that have a purely spiritual nature.
"All things were created through him and for him. / Before anything was created, he existed, / and he holds all things in unity" (Ibid. 1, 16-17).
4. These marvellous sentences from Saint Paul’s Letter come together with what is proclaimed to us today in the Prologue of Saint John’s Gospel:
"In the beginning was the Word: / the Word was with God / and the Word was God. / He was with God in the beginning. / Through him all things came to be, / not one thing had its being but through him. / And the world was made through him" (Jn 1,1-3 Jn 1,10).
Both in the text of John and in the text of Paul is contained the revealed doctrine on the Son - the Word of God - who is of the same divine substance as the Father. This is the faith we profess as we say the Creed - that profession of faith which comes from the two most ancient Councils of the universal Church, at Nicea and Constantinople:
We believe in one God, / the Father, the Almighty, / maker of heaven and earth, / of all that is, seen and unseen. / We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, / the only Son of God, / eternally begotten of the Father, / God from God, Light from Light, / true God from true God, / begotten, not made, / of one Being with the Father. / Through him all things were made".
The Son is one in substance with the Father. He is God from God.
At the same time, everything that is created has its divine beginning in him, as the Eternal Word. In him all things were made and in him they have their existence.
290 5. This is our faith. This is the teaching of the Church about the Divinity of the Son. This Eternal Son, true God, the Word of the Father, became man. These are the words of the Gospel: "The Word was made flesh, he lived among us" (Ibid. 1, 14).
In the Creed we profess: "For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man".
Here we more directly touch upon the reality of the Heart of Jesus. For the heart is a human organ, belonging to the body, belonging to the whole structure, to the spiritual and physical makeup of man: "And the Word was made flesh".
In this make-up the heart has its place as an organ. At the same time it has a meaning as the symbolic centre of the inner self, and this inner self is, by nature, spiritual.
The Heart of Jesus was conceived beneath the heart of the Virgin Mother, and its earthly life ceased at the moment Jesus died on the Cross. This is testified to by the Roman soldier who pierced the side of Jesus with a lance.
During the whole of Jesus’ earthly life, this Heart was the centre in which was manifested, in a human way, the love of God: the love of God the Son, and, through the Son, the love of God the Father.
What constitutes the greatest fruit of this love in creation?
We read it in the Gospel: "He came to his own domain and his own people did not accept him. But to all who did accept him he gave power to become children of God . . ." (Jn 1,11-12).
Here is the most magnificent, the most profound gift of the Heart of Jesus that we find in creation: man born of God, man adopted as a son in the Eternal Son, humanity given the power to become children of God.
6. And therefore our human heart "transformed" in this way can say and does say to the Divine Heart what we hear in today’s liturgy:
"My soul, give thanks to the Lord, / and never forget all his blessings. / It is he who forgives all your guilt, / who heals every one of your ills, / who redeems your life from the grave, / who crowns you with love and compassion. / The Lord is compassion and love, / slow to anger and rich in mercy" (Ps 103,2-4 Ps 103,8).
291 These are the words of the Psalm in which the Old Testament speaks of the mystery of God’s love. How much more do the Gospels tell us of the divine Heart of the Son - and indirectly of the Heart of the Father:
Heart of Jesus, abode of justice and love!
Heart of Jesus, patient and most merciful!
Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness!
Finally we can repeat with Isaiah that those who hope in the divine Heart "renew their strength, they put out wings like eagles. They run and do not grow weary, walk and never tire" (Is 40,31).
7. Le coeur de Jésus Christ, c’est un appel de Dieu, fort et constant, adressé à l’humanité, à chaque coeur humain. Ecoutons encore les paroles de Paul dans la liturgie d’aujourd’hui:
“Il est aussi la tête du corps, / c’est-à-dire de l’Eglise. / Il est le commencement, / le premier-né d’entre les morts, / puisqu’il devait avoir en tout la primauté. / Car Dieu a voulu que, dans le Christ, / toute chose ait son accomplissement total. / Il a voulu tout réconcilier par lui et pour lui, / sur la terre et dans les cieux, / en faisant la paix par le sang de sa Croix” (Col 1,18-20).
Voici la perspective ultime que nous ouvre le Coeur de Jésus Christ par la foi. Il est le commencement et la fin de tout ce qui a été créé en Dieu même. Il est la plénitude.
Toute la création visible et invisible avance vers cette Plénitude en lui. En lui est la Plénitude où toute l’humanité est appelée, réconciliée avec Dieu par le sang de Jésus Christ versé sur la Croix.
Lord Jesus Christ, / Eternal Son of the Eternal Father, / Born of the Virgin Mary, / We ask you to continue to reveal to us the mystery of God: so that we may recognize in you "the image of the invisible God"; that we may find him in you, in your divine Person, in the warmth of your humanity, in the love of your Heart.
Heart of Jesus in whom dwells the fullness of Divinity!
292 Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received!
Heart of Jesus, King and centre of all hearts, for ever and ever. Amen!
S. John Paul II Homil. 281