“God awards according to merits”
is the epitaph on the tomb of love
There is a video by Fr. Fernando Armellini with English subtitles
commenting on today’s Gospel reading:
The terms Eucharist and charisma are known. They are derived from the Greek charis which means benevolence, free gift, a gift that gives joy and makes one happy.
We feel a great satisfaction when we are given the diploma of graduation, after so much work and sleepless nights. However, a simple flower given to us by a loved one in the moment in which he declares his love awakens an immense joy.
The gift produces a unique emotion because it is a sign that someone thinks and loves us as well as tenderly pronounces our name.
The introduction of the criteria of retributive justice, the accountability, rewards and punishments, threats and flatteries, recording of merits and transgressions in our relationship with God is a diabolic deformation of faith. The rabbis had cataloged persons into four categories: the just, if they observe all the law; the wicked, if infractions prevail in them; the mediocres, if merits and faults are equivalent; the repentants, if they ask forgiveness of their sins. With the principle: “Reward is given only for good work,” they decreed the end of a love relationship.
The dialogue between God and man is established only where there is a free encounter, free gift, unconditional reciprocal love. Who loves claims nothing and expects nothing but to see the loved one smile and rejoice.
In the line of the prophets, the best among the rabbis said to the Lord: “Your salvation is manifested in this: you are merciful to those who have no treasure of good works.” “What you’ve done is grace, because in our hands there were no good works.” Jesus made this righteousness of God his own.
To internalize the message, we repeat:
“I thank you, Lord, because you welcome and love me just as I am.”