Abide in Me

“Abide in me.” This phrase sounds like an invitation, or a suggestion but it is almost an order. Above all, it is invitation to live an abundant life today, an invitation to prepare for the time when we join Christ in eternity. Similarily to when, after a visit to a friend’s house, while we’re about to go away, we are asked to stay a little or maybe have dinner together, so in the same way Jesus offers himself to those asking him to stay a while. It is an exhortation to everyone, but in reality the gap between the divine and the human is extraordinary.
 
Do we have capacity to receive him? Receiving Jesus is truly not a problem, since it is the King who was the servant to us here on earth, God who became man. We are frail and in need. We are to take a moment to think and to take a step back. We must make an effort to be faithful to the Gospel. “Abide in me” is a call to recognize the face of Christ and, at the same time, recognize that his face is the face of the women and men that He loves.
 
Some will say: You can accept the company of God, however, it is more difficult to accept people in our lives with their shortcomings. In fact, from the Gospels we know that Jesus spent his time among tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers, the poor, the crippled, and the blind. Some others also think “I’m present in the church, but in my own way: I go to church when I want to; I listen to the Pope if he says what I want to hear.” They select the commandments at will and participate only in activities that gratify them in the Church. Moreover some will say, “I am baptized, a catechist, an educator, I belong to various associations, I am active in the church”. Then there will be those who want to keep Jesus all to themselves, closed in their devotions, rituals, in positions and tasks, the chatter of evil, in the stories of the past, the lack of confidence in the present.
 
The answer is rather unique for the questions, “for whom”, “why” and “how” should we abide in him, the answer is: “love”! To love is to be available to Christ’s pruning as well as having a love that bears fruit; to become apostles and missionaries; to keep the commandments, to “ask whatever you want and it will be given.” Therefore, to remain in him, also means to being present to others in their suffering, to being there for those in need . “Abide in me ” implies a concrete choice to be part of our Christian community which promises the fulfillment of inner peace, and our the desire infinite happiness and joy.
 
Marco Pappalardo- Author of Have the Courage to be Happy
 
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Check out Marco Pappalardo’s book Have the Courage to be Happy for teens and pre-teens seeking to delve more deeply in their Catholic faith. This book is fully explored with reflections from the Pope and space left at the end of each chapter for readers to write their own thoughts: giving young people a space of their own to grow.

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