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Ariccia, Spiritual Exercices 2017 / © PHOTO.VA - OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Lenten Retreat: ”God Is with Us, Despite Our Doubts and Sins,” Says Fr Michelini

Last Meditation of the Spiritual Exercises in the House of the Divine Master for the Pope and the Roman Curia

The Resurrection was at the center of the last meditation proposed by Father Giulio Michelini to the Pope and to the Roman Curia during the Lenten Spiritual Exercises.

The Franciscan wondered how to proclaim to the man of today that after death there is a resurrection, a new beginning? His answer consisted in starting from the historical Jesus and His message of liberation contained in the pages of the Gospel preceding those of the Resurrection.

It is necessary, therefore, to reflect further on the Scriptures, he added. Here is the preacher’s invitation: “To apply oneself more to understand what the 27 Books of the New Testament <and> the other Books of the First Testament wish to say so that we can explain them again through, naturally, the life of the Church, the Liturgy, the homily which is at the center of so many numbers of Evangelii Gaudium, but also through the cultural commitment.

There is also, however, another way to understand the Resurrection: charity. He highlighted that Matthew’s words also make clear another dimension of the Resurrection – forgiveness. The Risen Jesus wishes to meet the eleven disciples and He calls them ‘friends,’ He has forgiven them for having abandoned Him; and He meets them in Galilee, ‘prostrated’ but at the same time ‘doubtful.’ Yet He comes close to them, and Matthew’s account concludes with the words “I am with you always, until the end of the world.’ This is truly God’s way of acting, whose Word is ‘capable of illuminating our limitations and transforming them into opportunity,’” concluded the Franciscan.

Father Michelini then reminded that in Saint Matthew’s Gospel the Son is called “Immanuel,” God-with-us. This Gospel ends with the phrase: I am with you, Immanuel, until the end of time.” He is the greatest resource we have, despite our doubts, our evil side and our sins,” commented the preacher.

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