Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - "
The test of true faith in Christ is the gift of self, spreading love for one's
neighbor, especially for those who do not deserve it , for those who suffer,
for those who are marginalized ." And
"by virtue of Baptism and Confirmation we are called to be conformed to
Christ , the Good Samaritan of all the Afflicted."
This, in short, is the message of Pope Francis for the XXII World Day of the Sick , which is celebrated on February 11 , 2014 and made public today. It has as its theme : Faith and charity: " We too must give our lives for our brethren " ( 1 Jn 3:16).
Addressing in particular the sick and those who care for them , the Pope writes that "the Church recognizes in you, dear sick people, a special presence of the suffering Christ. Next to, indeed , within our suffering is that of Jesus , who carries the burden with us and reveals its meaning. When the Son of God was nailed to the cross, he destroyed the solitude of suffering and illuminated the darkness . This is how we are before the mystery of the love of God for us, that gives us hope and courage, hope, because in the loving plan of God even the night of pain is open to the light of Easter, and courage to face any adversity in his company, united to Him".
"The Son of God made man has
not taken away from human disease and suffering, but , taking them upon himself,
has transformed and reduced them Reduced them so they no longer have the last
word, which now belongs to the new life in fullness
; transformed , because in union with Christ positive can come from negative .
Jesus is the way, and with His Spirit , we can follow him. as the Father has
given the Son out of love , and the Son gave himself up for the same love , also
we can love others as God has loved us, giving our lives for our brothers. Belief
in our good God becomes goodness, faith in the Crucified Christ becomes
strength to love till the end and even our enemies . Evidence of authentic
faith in Christ
is the gift of self to spread the love for one's neighbor, especially for those
who do not deserve it , for those who suffer, for those who are marginalized .
"When we approach with tenderness those who are in need of care , we bring hope and a smile of God amid the contradictions of the world. When dedication and generosity towards others becomes the style of our actions, we make space for the Heart of Christ and we are warmed by it, thus offering our contribution to the advent of the Kingdom of God. To grow in tenderness, a respectful and sensitive charity, we have a Christian model: The Mother of Jesus and our Mother, attentive to voice of God and to the needs and difficulties of His children . "
" She is the Mother of all the sick and suffering . Confident we can have recourse to her with filial devotion , sure that she will assist us , support us and will not forsake us. She is the Mother of the Risen Christ: she remains alongside our crosses and accompanies us on the journey towards the resurrection and the fullness of life".