MISSATGE DEL PAPA FRANCESC AMB MOTIU DE LA QUARESMA

EL MAL S’ESCAMPARÀ TANT, QUE L’AMOR DE MOLTS ES REFREDARÀ” (Mt 24,12)

Estimats germans i germanes,

Un cop més ens surt a l’encontre la Pasqua del Senyor. Per preparar-nos per rebre-la, la Providència de Déu ens ofereix cada any la Quaresma, «signe sacramental de la nostra conversió», que anuncia i realitza la possibilitat de tornar al Senyor amb tot el cor i amb tota la vida.

Com tots els anys, amb aquest missatge desitjo ajudar tota l’Església a viure amb goig i amb veritat aquest temps de gràcia; i ho faig inspirant-me en una expressió de Jesús en l’Evangeli de Mateu: «El mal s’escamparà tant, que l’amor de molts es refredarà» (24,12).

Aquesta frase es troba en el discurs que parla de la fi dels temps i que està ambientat en Jerusalem, en la muntanya de les Oliveres, precisament allí on començarà la passió del Senyor. Jesús, responent una pregunta dels seus deixebles, anuncia una gran tribulació i descriu la situació en la que podria trobar-se la comunitat dels fidels: enfront dels esdeveniments dolorosos, alguns falsos profetes enganyaran molta gent fins a amenaçar amb apagar la caritat en els cors, que és el centre de tot l’Evangeli.

Els falsos profetes

Escoltem aquest passatge i preguntem-nos: quines formes prenen els falsos profetes?

Són com «encantadors de serps», o sigui, s’aprofiten de les emocions humanes per esclavitzar les persones i dur-les on ells volen. Quants fills de Déu es deixen fascinar per les seduccions d’un plaer momentani, al qual se’l confon amb la felicitat. Quants homes i dones viuen encantats per la il·lusió dels diners, que els fa en realitat esclaus del lucre o d’interessos mesquins. Quants viuen pensant que es valen per si mateixos i cauen presos de la soledat.

Uns altres falsos profetes són aquells «xarlatans» que ofereixen solucions senzilles i immediates per als sofriments, remeis que tanmateix són completament inútils: quants són els joves als quals se’ls ofereix el fals remei de la droga, d’unes relacions d’«usar i llençar», de guanys fàcils però deshonestos. Quants es deixen captivar per una vida completament virtual, en la que les relacions semblen més senzilles i ràpides però que després resulten dramàticament sense sentit. Aquests estafadors no només ofereixen coses sense valor sinó que treuen el que és més valuós, com la dignitat, la llibertat i la capacitat d’estimar. És l’engany de la vanitat, que ens duu a presumir de les nostres qualitats…, fent-nos caure en el ridícul; i el ridícul no té marxa enrere. No és una sorpresa: des de sempre el dimoni, que és «mentider i pare de la mentida» (Jn 8,44), presenta el mal com a bé i el que és fals com a veritable, per confondre el cor de l’home. Cadascú de nosaltres, per tant, està cridat a discernir i examinar en el seu cor si se sent amenaçat per les mentides d’aquests falsos profetes. Hem d’aprendre a no quedar-nos en un nivell immediat, superficial, sinó a reconèixer quines coses són les que deixen al nostre interior una petjada bona i més duradora, perquè venen de Déu i certament serveixen per al nostre bé.

Un cor fred

Dante Alighieri, en la seva descripció de l’infern, s’imagina el diable assegut en un tro de gel; la seva llar és el gel de l’amor extingit. Preguntem-nos aleshores: com es refreda en nosaltres la caritat? Quins són els senyals que ens indiquen que l’amor corre el risc d’apagar-se en nosaltres?

Allò que apaga la caritat abans que res és l’avidesa pels diners, «arrel de tots els mals» (1Tm 6,10), a la qual li segueix el rebuig de Déu i, per tant, el no voler buscar consol en ell, preferint quedar-nos amb la nostra desolació abans que sentir-nos confortats per la seva Paraula i els seus Sagraments. Tot això es transforma en violència que es dirigeix contra aquells que considerem una amenaça per a les nostres «certeses»: el nen per néixer, l’ancià malalt, l’hoste de pas, l’estranger, així com el proïsme que no correspon a les nostres expectatives.

També la creació és un testimoni silenciós d’aquest refredament de la caritat: la terra està enverinada a causa de les deixalles llançades per negligència i interès; els mars, també contaminats, han de recobrir per desgràcia les restes de tants nàufrags de les migracions forçades; els cels –que en el designi de Déu canten la seva glòria- es veuen solcats per màquines que fan ploure instruments de mort.

L’amor es refreda també en les nostres comunitats: en l’Exhortació apostòlica Evangelii gaudium vaig intentar descriure els senyals més evidents d’aquesta falta d’amor. Aquests són: l’accídia egoista, el pessimisme estèril, la temptació d’aïllar-se i entaular contínues guerres fratricides, la mentalitat mundana que indueix a ocupar-se només del que és aparent, disminuint d’aquesta manera l’entusiasme missioner.

Què podem fer?

Si veiem dins de nosaltres i al voltant nostre els signes que abans he descrit, l’Església, la nostra mare i mestra, a més de la medicina a vegades amarga de la veritat, ens ofereix en aquest temps de Quaresma el dolç remei de la pregària, l’almoina i el dejuni.

El fet de dedicar més temps a la pregària fa que el nostre cor descobreixi les mentides secretes amb les quals ens enganyem a nosaltres mateixos, per a cercar finalment el consol en Déu. Ell és el nostre Pare i desitja per a nosaltres la vida.

L’exercici de l’almoina ens allibera de l’avidesa i ens ajuda a descobrir que l’altre és el meu germà: el que tinc no és mai només meu. De la mateixa manera que, com a cristians, m’agradaria que seguíssim l’exemple dels Apòstols i veiéssim en la possibilitat de compartir els nostres béns amb els altres un testimoni concret que vivim en l’Església. A aquest propòsit faig meva l’exhortació de sant Pau, quan convidava els corintis a participar en la col·lecta per a la comunitat de Jerusalem: «convé que dugueu a terme la col·lecta» (2Co 8,10). Això val especialment en la Quaresma, un temps en el que molts organismes realitzen col·lectes a favor d’esglésies i poblacions que passen per dificultats. I com voldria que també en les nostres relacions quotidianes, davant de cada germà que ens demana ajuda, penséssim que es tracta d’una crida de la divina Providència: cada almoina és un motiu per a participar en la Providència de Déu vers els seus fills; i si ell avui se serveix de mi per ajudar un germà, no proveirà també demà les meves necessitats, ell, que no es deixa guanyar per ningú en generositat?

El dejuni , per últim, debilita la nostra violència, ens desarma, i constitueix una important ocasió per a créixer. D’una banda, ens permet experimentar el que senten aquells que no tenen el que és indispensable i coneixen el fibló de la fam; d’altra banda, expressa la condició del nostre esperit, famolenc de bondat i assedegat de la vida de Déu. El dejuni ens desperta, ens fa estar més atents a Déu i al proïsme, inflama la nostra voluntat d’obeir Déu, que és l’únic que sacia la nostra fam.

Voldria que la meva veu traspassés les fronteres de l’Església Catòlica, perquè arribés a tots vosaltres, homes i dones de bona voluntat, disposats a escoltar Déu. Si us sentiu afligits com nosaltres, perquè en el món s’estén la iniquitat, si us preocupa la fredor que paralitza el cor i les obres, si veieu que es debilita el sentit d’una mateixa humanitat, uniu-vos a nosaltres per invocar junts Déu, per dejunar junts i entregar junts el que podem com ajuda per als nostres germans.

El foc de la Pasqua

Convido especialment els membres de l’Església a emprendre amb zel el camí de la Quaresma, sostinguts per l’almoina, el dejuni i la pregària. Si en molts cors a vegades fa la sensació que la caritat s’ha apagat, en el cor de Déu no s’apaga. Ell sempre ens dona una nova oportunitat perquè puguem començar a estimar de nou.

Una ocasió propícia serà la iniciativa «24 hores per al Senyor», que aquest any ens convida novament a celebrar el Sagrament de la Reconciliació en un context d’adoració eucarística. L’any 2018 tindrà lloc el divendres 9 i el dissabte 10 de març, inspirant-se en les paraules del Salm 130,4: «És molt vostre perdonar». A cada diòcesi, almenys una església romandrà oberta durant 24 hores seguides, per a permetre la pregària d’adoració i la confessió sacramental.

La nit de Pasqua reviurem el suggestiu ritu d’encendre el ciri pasqual: la llum que prové del «foc nou» a poc a poc esvairà la foscor i il·luminarà l’assemblea litúrgica. «Que la llum de Crist, ressuscitat i gloriós, dissipi les tenebres del nostre cor i del nostre esperit», perquè tots puguem viure la mateixa experiència dels deixebles d’Emmaús: després d’escoltar la Paraula del Senyor i d’alimentar-nos amb el Pa eucarístic el nostre cor tornarà a abrusar-se de fe, esperança i caritat.

Us beneeixo de tot cor i prego per vosaltres. No us oblideu de pregar per mi.

Francesc, papa

Vaticà, 1 de novembre de 2017

Solemnitat de Tots Sants

 

 

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