Archbishop intervention during the Selichot service, in preparation for Rosh Hashanah, the Vidal Street Synagogue 2049 Buenos Aires
Today we come to stand before the Lord. We can imagine the scene as the beginning of the book of Job (1:6). There the Lord asks questions and move the heart, discover the intentions. We are in front of him and willing to listen. Letting your questions move us inside, we become transparent. Let us not fear the truth if we recognize and proclaim before Him because He “is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and of great kindness, not without appeal or accuses grudge forever.” (Psalm 103 (102) :8-9).
And as in the beginning that evening today we ask ourselves each for Adam “where are you” (Gen. 3:9). Queries on our guidance. Do we know where we are in relation to Him, in relation to what He wants from us? “Or have we eaten of the forbidden tree and we seek to hide? (Cf. Gen. 3:11). Question makes us fall in account our limitations, our weaknesses, our nakedness. We are only two ways, or camouflage them or recognize them. Where am I? concerning God. Where Am I respect myself. Today is the “appropriate time” for resituarnos. So many times we move the way!, many times our compass goes crazy and lose the sense of direction! Now we must respond with truth, look inside your heart. Do not be afraid, but speak the truth. Where am I located? ‘ And do not try to shift the blame to another: “The woman you put with me gave me the fruit and I ate it” (Gen. 3:12). Resituarme in myself and God. And reorient my heart to Him by becoming
Today we also made a second question: “Where is your brother?” (Gen. 4:9). Before we wondered about our situation regarding ourselves and Him now referring to our neighbors. He wanted us not lonely but forming one people, one family. When we walk disoriented about ourselves and God, this confusion also affects our relationship with the brothers, and then answered: “I do not know” (Gen. 4:9) or go further and we justify ourselves: “Am I the my brother’s keeper? ” (Id.). My brother: so many men and women that makes me forget my selfishness. The Lord asks for the fatherless and the widow, the stranger and the slave. Let silence in our hearts and answer for our brother.
These two questions updated its mandate: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord. ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deut. 6: 4 -5) and “Love your neighbor as yourself. ‘I am the Lord” (Lev. 19:18), we are asked to update that mandate must become flesh in our lives and doctrine to our children: “Record to your heart these words which I command you today. Incúlcalas your sons and shall talk of them when you sit at home and when you travel, when you lie down and when you rise “(Deut. 6: 6-7).
This is our memories. Do not lose it. And, upon hearing the two questions today, let us strive to recover the memory also. In everyday life the fascination of idols leads to weakening memory. Next to these two questions are asked today also recover the memory: “Pay attention and be careful not to forget the things you’ve seen with your own eyes, or let them slip from your heart for a moment” (Deut. 4 : 9). Bring back the memory of our personal history and our history as a people: “I made them walk through the desert for forty years, without being spent the clothes on their backs or sandals that were on his feet” (Deut. 29: 4). When we lose our memory path taken also evade the two previous questions. We do not know what to answer to “Adam, where are you” and “where is your brother”, simply because we have forgotten where we came from, because we have lost the north of our peoplehood. And, when you lose the north, has fallen into idolatry. It should also ask why today remembering the Lord’s command: “Do not go after other gods, of the gods of the peoples who are around you” (Deut. 6:14). Idolatry is filtered us in a thousand ways, the idols we are offered at every step, but the most dangerous idol ourselves when we want to take the place of God. That subtle selfishness makes us unique reference of all existence.
Recover memory with the piety of a child and-as we examine two questions about the Lord-babble makes us our history with a heart that wants to become the Lord: “My father was a wandering Aramean who went down and took refuge there with a few men, but later became a great nation, powerful and numerous. Egyptians mistreated us, oppressed us and we imposed a cruel bondage. then we cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, and he heard our voice. He saw our misery, our tiredness and our oppression, and led us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and the strength of his arm, amid a great fervor, signs and wonders. He brought us to this place and we gave this land flowing with milk and honey “(Deut. 26: 5-9). This is the memory that today we must lead conversion.
And our report also points to the memory of the Lord: He waits, He remembers us with the illusion that we return to the early days: “I well remember the devotion of your youth, the love of your nuptials, you followed me through the wilderness, through a land not cultivated … ” (Jer. 2:2). Remember feeling remembered; want to love first feeling loved. He waits, He “primerea” as the almond blossom. Becoming well, looking much love, becomes party and, through repentance and conversion repitámosnos fraternal purpose: “This is a day dedicated to the Lord … do not be sad or cry … Do not grieve, for the joy the Lord is your strength “(cf. Nehem. 8: 9-11).
Buenos Aires, September 11, 2004.
Card. Jorge Mario Bergoglio S.J.