FOLLOWING THE FOOTPRINTS OF CHRIST

By Sr. Maria de Cristo Palafox 

MEDITATION FOR THE HOLY HOUR OF MAY 18TH POVERTY THAT MAKES US FREE

• This month our meditation takes us to contemplate, not so much poverty in itself, but Christ the Poor One. The Christ whom Clare loved and followed with all the strength of her love; first as a young lover at 18 th; leaving behind wealth, comfort, vanities, as she herself says. Later, with a poverty which goes beyond the renouncing of material possessions; implying the gift of herself in humble and hidden daily life.

• Clare discovers that truly, in abandoning the wealth and comfort of her past life, she is becoming more free, more available, more open to the indwelling of Him who has called her to follow. She discovers then what mean “the hidden treasure” and “the precious pearl” of which Jesus talks in the Gospel. She finds in the inner and outer dispossession the joy and freedom to belong to God and that God is her only possession.

• When little or nothing is ours, there is not much to defend or protect. When we do not have possessions which enslave the heart and rob the joy of life, making us believe we need them to be happy, then we discover the true joy of being gift to others.

• Clare invites us to fix our gaze in Jesus, especially in three moments of his life: Bethlehem, “lying in a manger”, in his itinerant life, “not having a place to lay his head” and on the cross, dying naked in supreme freedom, giving his life for all.

• The poverty lived by the Son of God, who “being rich became poor to makes us rich by his poverty” remained forever incarnated in the supreme mystery of love and divestment: the Eucharist. Again, Clare invites us to totally strip ourselves to embrace the One who totally gives to us in the form of bread every day in our altars. The Mirror of Jesus poor and crucified, that Clare place before our eyes, calls us to look at ourselves and discover how many things still hold us back from being truly free. Let us reflect: Do I accept the limitations in my life: illnesses, age, lack of capacities, as ways of became defenseless of and as means to open up to the gift of God? Do I see my consecrated life as the field in which I have discovered the Hidden Treasure of the Kingdom? What is my “precious pearl” for which I am willing to leave behind everything else? What is the “wealth” or the possessions that get in the way for me to be freer? Where do I find true and profound joy?

Quotes for reflection: Mt. 13:44-52; 2Cor 8:9. I Let Cl 15-30; III Let Cl 24-28; IVLet Cl 18-23.

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