The isolated conscience
2013-05-15 L’Osservatore Romano
Egoism leads nowhere. Love, however, frees. Therefore, those who are able to live their lives as “a gift to give others” will never be alone and will never experience “the tragedy of the isolated conscience”, easy prey of that “evil repaying Satan” ever “ready to swindle” those who choose his path. Pope Francis gave this teaching on Tuesday morning, 14 May, to those present for the Mass celebrated in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
The Pope commented on the day's readings, taken from the Acts of the Apostles (1:15-17, 20-26) and from the Gospel of John (15:9-17), wherein he began by recalling that in this time of awaiting the Holy Spirit, the concept of love returns, the new commandment: “Jesus says something remarkable to us: 'Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends'. The greatest love: to one's own life. Love always takes this route: to give one's life. To live life as a gift, a gift to be given — not a treasure to be stored away. And Jesus lived it in this manner, as a gift. And if one lives life as a gift, one does what Jesus wanted: 'I appointed you that you should go and bear fruit'”. So, we must not burn life down with egoism.
In this regard the Holy Father put forward the figure of Judas, who had an attitude contrary to the person who loves, for “he never understood — the poor creature — what a gift is”. Judas was one of those people who never act from altruism and who always live in the scope of their own ego, without letting themselves “be seized by beautiful situations”. This latter was the attitude of “Mary Magdalene, when she washed Jesus' feet with nard — very costly. It is a “religious” moment, said the Bishop of Rome, “a moment of thanksgiving, a moment of love”.
Among the concelebrants were the Colombian prelates, Archbishop Ricardo Antonio Tobón Restrepo of Medellín and Bishop Fabio Duque Jaramillo of Garzón, and Bishop Jesús García Burillo of Ávila, Spain. Also present was a group of the staff from the Vatican Museums and some seminarians who are guests of the Pontifical Portuguese College.