Josemaría Escrivá Obras
82

The liturgy of Palm Sunday puts these words on our lips: "Swing back, doors, higher yet; reach higher, immemorial gates, to let the king enter in triumph!" Anyone who barricades himself in the citadel of his own selfishness will never come down onto the battlefield. But if he raises the gates of his fortress and lets in the king of peace, then he will go out with the king to fight against all that misery which blurs the eyes and numbs the conscience. "Reach higher, immemorial gates." The fact that Christianity requires us to fight is nothing new. It has always been that way. If we do not fight, we will not win and if we do not win, we will not obtain peace. Without peace human joy is illusory, fake, barren, and it is not translated into service of men, or works of charity and justice, of pardon and mercy, or the service of God.

Today, inside and outside the Church, high and low, one gets the impression that many people have given up the struggle — that personal war against one's own weaknesses — and have surrendered bag and baggage to slaveries which debase the soul. It is a danger which always confronts Christians.

That is why we must insistently go to the Holy Trinity asking God to have compassion on everyone. When talking about this subject, I hesitate to refer to God's justice. I appeal to his mercy, his compassion, so that he will not look at our sins but will rather see the merits of Christ and of his holy Mother, who is also our mother, the merits of the patriarch St Joseph whom he made his father, and the merits of the saints.

A Christian can rest completely assured that if he wants to fight, God will take him by the right hand, as we read in today's Mass. It is Jesus the king of peace who says on entering Jerusalem astride a miserable donkey: "The kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence and the violent are taking it by storm." This violence is not directed against others. It is a violence used to fight your own weaknesses and miseries, a fortitude which prevents you from camouflaging your own infidelities, a boldness to own up to the faith even when the environment is hostile.

Today, as yesterday, heroism is expected of the Christian. A heroism in great struggles, if the need arises. Normally, however, heroism in the little skirmishes of each day. When you put up a continuous fight, with love, in apparently insignificant things, the Lord is always present at your side, as a loving shepherd: "I myself pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest — it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks. I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded, and make the weak strong.... They will feel safe in their own pastures. And men will learn that I am Yahweh when I break their yoke straps and release them from their captivity."

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