2011-02-12 GENERAL HOUSE

Life is a gift

Emanuela is one of the workers in the General House. Recently she gave birth to a beautiful little girl. By a fine coincidence, she was born on 2 January, a very Marist day. The presence of an expectant Emanuela inspired me with two reflections I shared with her. They are reflections on life, which we share with our readers.

Flavia, my friend and sister, welcome! From today you form part of the great human family. Your presence among us is a great joy. But what it evokes above all is life.

For life, for your life, we wish to give thanks to the Lord. Life is a gift. You are a gift for us. We welcome you with open arms, to lift you up to heaven, for you are a gift from heaven.

By your presence, heaven dwells on earth and the latter feels raised to heaven. You appear as a bridge joining earth and heaven. The bridge where life bursts forth to tell us that, despite everything, it is worth the pain of being alive. It is also the bridge where, beyond, well beyond yourself, we encounter God himself. You are without doubt the visible image of God in man, in the triple dimension which places God at our very centre:

  • Visible image of love: you do not exist without God who is love. On your face, between smiles and tears, you reveal God’s love for men, drawing us to Himself.
  • Visible image of hope: you do not exist without the hope of God, or without God who is hope. It is extraordinary, you reveal to us again that God trusts, hopes in man. Thus He places you in our hands so that we can help to grow the life he has given us in you for the hope of the world.
  • Visible image of faith: you do not exist without the fidelity of God. Faith is also this: God’s fidelity to us. In you, it visits the earth once more. But it does not stop with you. It extends to infinity, to all time and all space. Your presence is now a challenge to our fidelity. And it is also an invitation to respond to God’s fidelity.

In your presence, a divine sign of life and divine life among us, I salute also your dear parents, Emanuela and Luca, my dear friends. They are the interpreters of God’s designs for you. They give harmony to the marvellous notes of a hymn God has written, from all eternity, for you. It is a song of creation. But a song which sings the music of God offered you by your parents. It is thus also a gift for humanity, so that you may reveal to it the etrernally present newness of God.

In your presence, I also rediscover myself. For I am also a gift of life. God’s music has also built up its melody in me. A melody full of life that I want always to sing and to sing forever. In contemplating you, how could I dream, if only for a second, of an attitude of death? In your incarnation, I already see the resurrection, the victory of life over all the temptations of death, just as in the Incarnation/Resurrection of Jesus. That is why you are formidable, Flavia! In your way, so simply in our arms, you reveal also this supreme and unique victory: that of life over death.

So, allow me to finish where I began: welcome, my sister. I love you, Flavia.

Teófilo, your brother.


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