Cardinal Comments on the Importance of Charity

>> Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Youth Worth Their Weight in Love

Cardinal Comments on the Importance of Charity

By Robert Cheaib

ROME, MARCH 4, 2008 ( The value of each of us will be determined by love, said the archpriest of St. Peters' Basilica told a gathering of young people in Rome.

Cardinal Angelo Comastri said this Friday during a Mass at the San Lorenzo International Center. The center, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary March 13, was inaugurated by Pope John Paul II in 1983 and houses the first cross of the World Youth Days.

The cardinal commented on the passage of the Gospel of Mark in which a scribe asks Jesus which is the greatest commandment. “Like the scribe did," he said, "so this afternoon we also ask Jesus, ‘Which is the first commandment? What matters most to God?’

“In God’s eyes we are worth as much as we love. This is a revolution. The world uses other valuation criteria. In God’s eyes there is only one value: love.”

Cardinal Comastri added: “At the end of our lives, we will all be put in the scale of charity, and each one will be worth as much as they loved.

“But why does only charity matter?”

“The answer,” said the 64-year-old cardinal, “is once again the Christian revolution: Because God is love. If you are in love, you have God with you, and if you have God with you, you are already in heaven. If, however, you are missing God, you don’t have anything.”

Referring to the passage about the sinful woman who washes Jesus’ feet and dries them with her hair in the house of a well-known Pharisee, the archpriest of St. Peter's said: “In that moment, this woman declares through her acts: I believe that you are love. I have love, I had not found it until today, but now that I’ve found you, I’ve understood that God is love.

“And Jesus told the man who had invited him: Simon, you appear to be good, but your heart is made of ice, you are worthless in God’s eyes. Instead, this woman has understood it, she has found love. And so this woman is greater than you.”

The cardinal asked the young people the following question: “We go to church, we listen to God’s word, we receive the Eucharist, but how often does charity enter into us?

“In this time of Lent, we are invited to conversion; we all need to convert in order to accept the surprising news of the Gospel: Each of us is worth as much as we love.”



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