Today we want to accept the invitation we heard in the second reading, that of running with perseverance in the race that lies ahead, keeping our gaze fixed on Jesus. And in this race, which is the race of life, we are surrounded by a multitude. of witnesses. Again, this author whose name we do not know, perhaps he is still the apostle Paul or perhaps another, invites us to think carefully about the one who has endured such great hostility from sinners against himself, so that we do not get tired of getting lost. of mind. He even goes so far as to say that perhaps very great trials await us that can test our resilience and he even says that “you have not yet resisted to the point of blood in the fight against sin”. Let’s try to put some order in all this to find that word which, instead of discouraging us, helps us to live and gives us consolation, strength and hope.

First of all we become aware that it is true that we are surrounded by a large number of witnesses: they are the people of our families and of our community. They are the people who have transmitted faith in Jesus to us and who have educated us or are educating us. They are the people who lived according to the teachings of Jesus and who left behind a memory of so many good words, of so many teachings of goodness, of dedication and generosity, of strength in sacrifice, of patience in enduring trials. We have to think carefully and often about them and then ask ourselves: “If they lived this way and their example arouses admiration and esteem, why shouldn’t I do it too?”. In the Gospel we have heard we speak of an exceptional witness: John who gave a great witness to Jesus. When Jesus says: “You just wanted to rejoice in his light for a moment” he is reproaching some people who have seen John’s testimony. but they did not take her seriously, they did not reflect adequately on her words which they addressed to Jesus. This must not happen to us too.

But it is not wrong to cultivate the important questions of life: Why do I have to act a certain way? Why do I have to follow these examples and not others that appeal to me the most? Why do I have to believe in Jesus? Why do I have to do what others do and can’t do what I want? The words of Jesus that we have heard today give us an answer: Jesus speaks of life not in a generic way, but says: “As the Father has life in himself, so he also granted the Son to have life in himself” . Also in other ways he speaks of life: he says that the dead will live to have heard the Word of the Son of God. It means that his word is the bearer of life, it is a powerful word, so powerful as to raise the dead. There is also a truth that frightens us because there is no generic resurrection of the dead but there is a resurrection of life for those who have done good and a resurrection of condemnation for those who have done evil. And here the discussion becomes very serious because we have to answer the question: am I doing good or am I doing evil? And who judges me if I’m doing right or wrong? We proclaim it in the Creed: And again he will come in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his reign will have no end. Therefore it is only Jesus who can judge with justice and truth. On that day all the earthly judges or the powerful of the earth will be silenced. But if we welcome Jesus as a friend and brother and decide to live as he taught us there is no reason to be afraid of him because he is the universal judge. When friendship is great, fear disappears.

In an even more concise and incisive way, Jesus said: “I am the Life!”. He is life and this means that we live in him, we live thanks to him and if in life we ​​feel so much fragility or fear it is always because we feel that life is failing or is escaping us. But if we think of him and turn to him again, life cannot abandon us because if we are with Jesus we cannot die: He is Life! To the simple question: why should I follow Jesus, must I know, welcome, love Jesus? The answer is just as simple: “Because I want to live!”

Don Benvenuto Riva
Parish priest of Ballabio and Morterone

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