With the theme “The Son of God gave himself for me”, Father Cristiano Pinheiro did the first preaching of the Holy Week Online retreat of the Shalom Catholic Community. The priest recorded the formation, which was broadcast on the afternoon of this Holy Thursday by the Community channel on YouTube, directly from the San Lorenzo Center, in Italy. In his speech, he highlighted that God is with his people, especially in the most difficult moments.
Before beginning the formation, the missionary pleaded for the presence of the Holy Spirit, assisted by a prayer of Saint Elisabeth of the Trinity. “In the Cathedral of our life, we need to make an altar of our heart, and ask the Holy Spirit to come on the altar of our heart and burn the offerings, the whole content of our life,” he explained.
God is doing a new work
Faced with the pandemic and social isolation that the world is currently facing, Father Cristiano shared that he feels he is being born again. In fact, God is doing a new work in the lives of each of his children. The priest also asked: “What are you seeing in the absurdity of the time? Light? Prophecy? Revelation? The prophet sees in the darkness the victory of the glory of God”
With the closure of the Evangelization Centers, this atypical time left the ordinary life of many members of the Community and the Work in disorder, according to the missionary. However, he recalls that “the true new work is us, and, within that darkness, we can already see the Holy Spirit working something new”. In his preaching, he also highlighted the importance of spousal communion that happens in the life of every baptized person.
God comes to inhabit our pain
Saint Paul states that it is Christ who lives in him (Gal 2,20). The apostle’s testimony expresses the beauty of a reality of faith. “God comes to inhabit our pain with His presence. He comes to live in our pain. He comes to participate in it. He fills our pain with His presence”, says the priest. God does not leave his people amid difficulties; on the contrary, he unites himself even more with his children.
“This life that I live in the flesh, I live in the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. I am no longer the one who lives. He lives in me. And we can see it in a prophetic way, in a way historic goal, in a way already accomplished in the people of Israel “. God’s spousal union with his people is so profound that one cannot touch or injure one without touching and injuring the other. So, in the midst of the pain of the people of Israel, God was present.
Father Cristiano, quoting Pope Francis, says that the Lord is in the pulp of the boat. In fact, this place is the first to be sunk when the vessel is adrift. The priest also points out: God is in the difficulty of our life as the angel was in the furnace with the young, as narrated by the prophet Daniel. In short, God is at the ends of our lives, at the most difficult times.
Prayer of Saint Elisabeth of the Trinity
O Consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, descend into my soul and make all in me as an incarnation of the Word, that I may be to Him a super-added humanity wherein He renews His mystery; and You O Father, bestow Yourself and bend down to Your little creature, seeing in her only Your beloved Son in whom You are well pleased. Amen.
Translation: Beatriz Duarte