Josemaría Escrivá Obras

Our Lord's humility was yet another blow for those who spent their lives only looking after themselves. Here in Rome I have often commented — perhaps you yourselves have heard me say it — that, under its now ruined arches, there used to march in triumph victorious emperors and generals, all vain and haughty and full of pride. And as they passed under these monuments they may have had to lower their heads for fear of striking the great archways with their majestic brows. Yet again, Christ, who is so humble, does not state: 'you will be known as my disciples by your modesty and humility'.

I would like to help you realise that, even after twenty centuries, the Master's commandment is still as strikingly new as ever. It is, as it were, a letter of introduction proving that one is truly a son of God. Ever since I became a priest I have very often preached that, for so many people alas, this commandment continues to be new, because they have never, or hardly ever, made an effort to put it into practice. It is sad to have to say this, but it is true. Nevertheless the Messiah's words are quite clear. He stresses, once and for all, 'by this you will be known, by the love you have for one another!' This is why I feel I must remind people constantly about these words of Our Lord. St Paul adds, 'bear one another's burdens; then you will be fulfilling the law of Christ'. Think of the amount of time you have wasted, perhaps with the false excuse that you could easily afford it, and yet you have so many brothers, your friends about you, who are overworked! Help them unobtrusively, kindly, with a smile on your lips, in such a way that it will be practically impossible for them to notice what you are doing for them. Thus they will not even be able to express their gratitude, because the discreet refinement of your charity will have made your help pass undetected.

The foolish virgins, poor things, with their empty lamps, might argue that they hadn't had a free moment. The workers at the marketplace end up wasting most of the day, because they don't feel duty bound to render any useful service, even though Our Lord was seeking them constantly, urgently, from the very first hour. When he calls us to his service, let us say 'Yes' and bear 'the day's burden and the heat' for love's sake, in which case it will be no burden.

Previous View chapter Next