hat is what Jesus says of himself : “I am the good shepherd”. He is not “one among many”, or “one together with the others”. Neither is he “one more than the others”. He is “the only, one shepherd”, “the one, and only good shepherd”. The oneness is his truth. Other truths which would be ascribed to him, but which lessen, or annul this oneness of his, are simply false, deceiving, untruthful.
m. He generated them to divine, or eternal life, by giving them his blood. His blood, which is the blood of God’s Son, in the Holy Spirit, makes of every one of his sheep a son of God. The relationship between Christ Jesus and his sheep is real, if it is bilateral. If it remains unilateral, the relationship is false.
Sac. Costantino di Bruno
The exercise of love from the Church as a community of love
Themes of reflections starting from the encyclical Letter Deus Caritas est by H. H. Benedict XVI
'Caritas – The exercise of love from the Church as a community of love”. With these words the Holy Pontiff titles the second part of his first encyclical, and you can already catch in them a key to the reading of the entire work.
is not real any more, but it is a simple philanthropic effort which remains sterile.
Sac. Michele Fontana
I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD
SALVATION IS FOUND IN NO ONE ELSE (At 4,8-12)
The Church lives of one only truth: “Salvation is to be found through him alone; in all the world there is no one else whom God has given who can save us”. This truth makes itself mission, martyrdom, sacrifice, offering to God of the self life so that every man may come to the knowledge of Christ in order to be saved. Truth and mission are a single thing; they are like the tree and the fruit. The fruit of a man is always the “product” of the truth that runs in the veins of his soul and his spirit. If the truth changes, so does the fruit; if the fruit has changed, it is a sign that also the truth has changed. If we put in the veins of our soul the “truth” that every “religious way” is good in order to be saved, the consequences cannot be none others that the abandoning of the mission, the renunciation to martyrdom, the declassification of the same Christian life with its consignment to vice and sin. Every decaying and change of mission, is a sign that the truth has changed. The infinite work of the Church is only and always one: putting all the care in order to always stay in the truth of Christ Jesus.
A Christian is not God’s son through generation from the Father. Only Christ Jesus is generated from the Father. Neither is he through creation. Every man is God’s son through creation, because by God he is made in his image and likeness through the Word. The Christian is God’s son with a very special motivation: “because he was made to take part in the divine nature”. The divine nature that he did not receive through generation, he receives it instead through the participation in Christ Jesus, through the work of the Holy Spirit, in the Baptismal waters. If the truth of the Christian is that of having received as a gift the divine nature, which must be his fruit? It is only one: faultlessness. To the Christian is required the same faultlessness which is God’s, which has been of Christ Jesus, of the Virgin Mary, Redemption Mother and of those who in Christ, with Christ, through Christ, reached the perfection in holiness. The Christian holiness is none other than faultlessness already reached in this life, on our earth. Whoever has known God does not sin. Whoever sins does not know God, because it is proper of the divine nature not to know sin.
AND I LAY DOWN MY LIFE FOR THE SHEEP (Jn 10,11-18)
“I am the good shepherd”. However the sheep are not his, but the Father’s. The Father consigned them to him. He protects, guides, leads, saves them, feeding them on his flesh, quenching their thirst with his blood, by giving them his very life, which is immolated for them. To nobody else did the Father consign his sheep; nobody else could lead them to the paths of life. Those whom the Father will call to be custodians of Christ Jesus’ sheep, can be shepherds, but only in Christ, with Christ, through Christ. They will have to imitate Christ Jesus and offer their lives for the sheep; they will have to make themselves their food and drink, but always in Christ, with and through Him. They will have to lead the flock to the Word of Christ, not to any other; but they will also have to mind the flock with the Blood and Body of Christ. The sheep feed only on Christ’s Word and Eucharist. Changing nutriment means abandoning them to the wolf that kidnaps, scatters, kills, devours them, eats their flesh. Every shepherd that comes after Christ is a shepherd in order to give all of Christ to the sheep. They were not assigned any other task by the Father. If he assumes others, he does it totally and arbitrarily, exposing the sheep to sure death.
REMAIN IN ME, AND I WILL REMAIN IN YOU
THEY WERE ALL AFRAID OF HIM (At 9,26-31)
When God and man live in a perfect communion synergy, deed and word, will and intervention, salvation is carried out on earth in a prodigious way. With Paul the Lord operated the greatest wonder in the Church of the origins. Of the fierce persecutor he made a chosen apostle in order to bring his name to the pagans. First the Lord needed Anania, so that he baptised and consented him to recuperate his sight. Then he served himself of Barnabas, who carried out a decisive role in the early community in Jerusalem: he made him credible in speech by witnessing for him. Lastly he served himself of other brothers in order to save him, leading him to Caesarea and making him leave Tarsus. Without any diligent commitment, full of zeal, lived with much discernment on the part of men, God’s work is hardly fulfilled. This truth must lead us to a single conviction: there is a moment in the history of salvation in which the life of God’s Kingdom is entirely placed in our hands: through us the Kingdom grows and produces fruits, but also through us it stops its journey and dies.
AS HE COMMANDED US (1Jn 3,18-24)
Love towards man and towards God was not left to everyone’s free decision; on the contrary, everything was established by God, even in the smallest details. Man’s heart is an abyss and could easily be deceived. It could suggest him a form of love, which in truth might never be love, because it is a larval form of high and devastating egoism. Since man has existed on earth, since his beginning in the Garden of Eden the Lord always indicated him what is good and what is bad and which is the best way of all in order to love in fullness of truth, justice and holiness. The first law of love according to perfect truth and justice are the Commandments. The new law of full love are the Beatitudes. With the Commandments we give God and man what is theirs; on the contrary, with the Beatitudes we give what is ours, what we could save for us, but that from the love of God we are called to give to the brothers, on the example and model of Jesus the Lord. This is the vocation of the Church: teaching every man how to love as Christ loved us.
I AM THE TRUE VINE (Jn 15,1-8)
In the Old Testament that is how Isaiah talks of the vineyard: “I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit” (Is 5, 1-2). With Jesus there are no “choicest vines”. The Lord’s vineyard is not made of a multitude of plants any more, but of a single vine which is Christ Jesus. All the others are vine stocks of the only real vine. This truth is full of consequences. If there are no longer many vines, but only one, that means that one is also the life of the vine and no longer a multiplicity separated from one another. From this only life every one must draw the life of his vine stock, otherwise the vine stock dries up and dies, the vine-dresser cuts it and throws it in the fire. Another consequence is this: the eternal life does not directly descend on to men from God any longer, it is only given through Christ, but not in order to live it in a separate way from Him, but in Him, with Him, through Him. Who separates from Christ’s Body, from the real vine tree, has not more supernatural life, like the vine stock cut from the vine tree it has no life in itself any longer.
Life of the Apostolic MovementLET’S GET PREPARED FOR THE MAY CONVENTION
Very dear friends,
the event for which we are getting prepared and that we are going to live in the days 10.11.12 May, 2006, is going to be of great meaning for all of us and it will surely represent a turning point in the life of those who embraced the Apostolic Movement’s Spirituality.
To all of you – Regional, Diocesan, Parochial Ecclesial Assistants; Regional, Diocesan, Parochial Responsible persons; Diocesan and Parochial Secretaries; Collaborators and Sympathisers – I ask for a single thing: bring to the Convention the fullness of your joy. May yours be the joy of who:
knows that he is spending his life at the service of Christ and his Gospel in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church; has the conscience that salvation in the world is in the mission that the Virgin Mary, Redemption Mother, wants to be carried out throughout land and sea; chose to make of the Churchy his real House in which to bring every one of his brothers;
wishes to love every other person till the supreme gift of his life; wants to walk together with his faith brothers in a perfect communion in truth and charity; believes with unfaltering faith that only Christ is light, life, truth, hope, wisdom and justice for every man;
has received a gift from God and wants to offer it to his brothers; he is firmly convinced of the littleness of his gift without the knowledge and welcome of the gifts and ministries of his brothers in the faith and spirituality.
In these days of intense preparation make yourselves promoters of a simple, pure, free word: with sensibility, almost in a low subdued voice, invite to participate. Tell everybody that their presence is richness for the others. Tell them that it is nice to live together our one and only faith in the God who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, only Redeemer, Saviour, Messiah.
The Convention will be holily celebrated if from today on and till then everyone will make himself voice of the final meetings. Becoming everyone an announcer of the May event, every day that event is lived in hope and every day every one some how celebrates it ahead of time, because he divulges the themes and explains the reasons of our convening together.
Thus operating, it will not be three days, but 10.000, 20.000, 30.000 days and meetings, as many as are the times that you will be talking about it to the persons that you will meet on your way. This is the invitation I make you and the wish I turn to all of you: may your voice, from today till the day of the event, be a daily celebration, repeated more times a day, of the May meetings.
I entrust all of you to the Virgin Mary, Redemption Mother. Talk with her heart to men and surely men will listen to you. May her heart be yours and this way also her love for Jesus and for salvation will be yours. However, let us start with the prayer. In every Holy Mass, to which we participate, and every time that we take in our hands the Holy Rosary, let us ask Jesus and his Mother that the Convention may produce abundant and copious fruits of salvation for the whole world. Let us daily invoke the intercession of the Angels and Saints. Without the blessing from Heaven our work remains fruitless. “If the Lord does not build the House, the workers strive in vain”. Let us start and go on with this faith because all of Heaven is with us. For what you are going to do, I thank you. The Lord will give you the right recompense.
Monsignor Costantino Di BrunoApostolic Movement’s Central Ecclesiastic Assistant Catanzaro, 25 March 2006Solemnity of the Lord’s ’Annunciation
It is the Messiah, the Son of God.
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