Luis Fernando Figari’s Address at Vigil
Here is a translation of the words of gratitude addressed to Benedict XVI, in the name of ecclesial movements, by Luis Fernando Figari.
Figari, founder of the Christian Life Movement, gave the words at the end of the meeting of new communities with the Pope, held Saturday evening in St. Peter’s Square.
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Your Holiness, on the occasion of this celebration of faith, I would like to share something that touches me deeply on meditating on that beautiful passage of Scripture that says: “I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me” (Revelation 3:20). The Lord Jesus comes as one who asks to be welcomed. He respectfully knocks at the door and asks to be admitted before entering our personal sphere.
How humble is our Lord! His merciful love has no limits! He continues to call on the intimacy of each one, and he asks for a listening ear. How faithful is his perseverance! We perceive an eschatological purpose, but it begins here on earth with the call of Jesus.
To listen to the Lord and to be open with him means to meet him and to keep his word, and to take part in his transforming love. Those who respond as indicated by the Virgin Mary in Cana: “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5), listen to Christ and obey him, and they open up to the Father who will reside in them.
The meal together speaks of the communion to which we have been invited, but also of the path of communion and friendship with Jesus. I believe that this is one of those wonderful syntheses found in Scripture that encourage us to follow the path toward the day of the ultimate encounter.
The Eternal Word, made flesh in the Immaculate Virgin Mary in order to redeem all human beings, comes to meet each of us in order to bring us to the wonderful gift of reconciliation, with God, with oneself, with others, with all of creation. He calls us with tender insistence to live our Christian life at every moment. He teaches us through his luminous presence among us to be people who live according to God’s plan. He brings forth our deepest identity and responds to the most pressing existential questions asked by human beings.
Today’s world is to a great extent closed to the voice and light of Christ. The Church, “Ecclesia Sua,” with great love is trying to illuminate and give warmth to human beings. Just like the flames at Pentecost, today the fire of the Spirit is continually endeavoring to illumine minds, to enkindle hearts, to radiate and shine on life. This is why the Lord Jesus knocks at our door and asks for an unconditional response from the men and women of today.
All periods of history have their dark corners, and this is the challenge of our era. Personal crises, the rift between faith and life, stifling secularism, relativism, functional agnosticism, the loss of Christian identity, the hegemony of all that is superficial and humdrum, the lack of understanding of the meaning of human fulfillment according to God, new and old ideologies and psychologism that distance people from their path, massification, injustice, the scourge of poverty, violence — all of these are voices that often unknowingly clamor for an answer in truth and love that brings peace and reconciliation to people and peoples. This is a call crying out for the Lord Jesus! It is he and only he who is the answer to the fractures and concerns of human beings!
The Spirit who descended on Our Lady at the time of the Annunciation and Incarnation, the Spirit who was made manifest in tongues of burning fire and touched minds and hearts at Pentecost, is the same Spirit who in our times has given rise to a wave of ecclesial movements and other communities of the faithful to live the Christian life, to proclaim to the world that Christ is real and that he reconciles people, to show them who Christ is, and to invite them to love and communion and participation in the divine nature.
It is God who comes to the aid of human beings and, as he has done on many other occasions during our 2,000-year history, he has given rise to movements within the Church that demonstrate rich ecclesial plurality and contribute in communion with Peter and under Peter to the great mission of the Church: to proclaim the Lord Jesus to the world and to work for the transformation of humanity and all earthly activity according to the divine plan.
Most Holy Father, your most appreciated teachings and encouragement lead us, members of ecclesial movements and new communities, in spite of our littleness, to feel urged on to greater commitment to the New Evangelization, to stimulate the drive toward coherence in the Church and eagerness to give witness, to search out new courageous methods and expressions to proclaim Christ and his teachings that is based on the experience of those who have listened to his call, have heard his voice, and have met him in a life-giving encounter, and to give witness, according to the gifts granted by the Spirit of faith, hope and charity, to the ends of the earth in all the undertakings of humanity.