When we see Jesus in the midst of the labors and works amid conflict with enlightened elites of that time (the Pharisees, Sadducees) see how many times they asked him for a sign Give us a sign. Jesus preached and people still as any, cured resurrected … but they asked for a sign. They saw it was not enough. You might think that was not enough because that elitism closing ceremony illustrated their consciences-that’s a valid explanation. But there was something else: the man even more closed to the voice of God is denied the instinct to know where he is and where to look. They sensed that raise the dead, heal the sick was not “signal”, so when Jesus said you are going to give the sign of Jonah (ie the resurrection), calling for the transcendent, unmistakable signal that God is revealed in its fullness, and in that they were right even farther away, nor yet Herod. The frightened and nagged religious instinct that pushes heart to seek and discern where God is.
They asked for the signal … on the other hand this also happened to the Saints. San Juan Bautista, in jail, suffered much, saw that Jesus preached, but was confused, in the solitude of his cell and began to doubt Jesus commanded to ask: Are you he who is to come or shall we look for other? Asked the wanted signal signal manifestation of God, the one who had proclaimed the Prophets and the people of Israel had been waiting for hundreds of years. They called the “great sign”.
In the story of the birth of Jesus, we have just heard, when the angels announce to the shepherds that the Redeemer was born they say: “… and this will be a sign will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger … “This is the sign: the total abasement God. The signal is that, tonight, God and love of our smallness was tenderness tenderness for all fragility, for all suffering, for all trouble for any search, for every limit, the signal is the tenderness of God and the message seeking all those who asked Jesus signals, message seeking those disoriented, even those who were enemies of Jesus and sought him from the bottom of the soul was this: seeking God’s tenderness, God made tenderly stroking our God misery, God love our smallness.
Today we proclaim this: God’s tenderness. The world goes on, men are still seeking God but this signal remains. Contemplating the child born in a manger, gazing child that God made love with our smallness, tonight the question arises: what about the tenderness of God with you? Do you let that tenderness caress of a God who loves you, God made a tender? o’re shy and do not let the search for God? -No, I seek God, you can say. It is most important to seek God, the most important thing is to let the search for him in the tender caress. This is the first question that this child with his presence today makes us: Do we want to let that tenderness? And further still: you dare you also become a tenderness for any difficult situation, to every human problem, for whom you have close, or prefer the solution bureaucratic executive, cold efficientist not evangelizing? If so, are you afraid to tenderness served God with you? and this is the second question today. Am I responsible for my behavior that tenderness that must accompany us throughout life, in moments of joy, sadness, cross, work, conflict, struggle?
The Christian response can not be other than the same answer from God to our smallness: tenderness, meekness. Remember that one time, when Jesus and his apostles did not want them to get in a town of Samaria, John proposed to Jesus: “… We send down fire from heaven …?, Which is the same as saying” we we put in and break them all. ” And Jesus answered “do not know what spirit are you”, the challenges, today I would say that is not Christian. Remember also that night when Jesus was taken prisoner and Peter drew his sword, herald, defender of the newborn Church, defender unhappy (as few hours later betrayed him) and Jesus said the sword saved Do not you believe that if I asked my father more than twelve legions of angels to defend not send? (Matt. 26:53), but my way is another, is tenderness. And that even in times of conflict, even the moments that slap you, when you slap on one cheek turn the other, maintainer tenderness. That’s what Christmas night brings. When we see a God who falls for our smallness, it is better to pat tenderness, a God who is all gentleness, all close, all projimidad, we have no other thing to open our hearts and say, Lord if you did so help us, give us the grace of tenderness in the painful situations of life, give me the grace of projimidad to every human need, give me the grace of meekness above all conflict. Let us ask, this is a night to ask … and I dare give them homework: tonight or tomorrow, that does not end on Christmas day without taking a little bit of silence and wonder What tenderness God to me? How about my affection for others? How about my tenderness in extreme situations? How about my meekness and conflicts in the work? and Jesus responds, he will.
May Our Lady grant them this grace.
Buenos Aires, December 24, 2004.
Card. Jorge Mario Bergoglio S.J.