If then God gave them the same gift He gave to us when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?
When the Lord shows us the way, who are we to say, ‘No, Lord, it is not prudent! No, let’s do it this way’… and Peter in that first diocese – the first diocese was Antioch – makes this decision: ‘Who am I to admit impediments?’
A nice word for bishops, for priests and for Christians. Who are we to close doors? In the early Church, even today, there is the ministry of the ostiary [usher]. And what did the ostiary do? He opened the door, received the people, allowed them to pass. But it was never the ministry of the closed door, never.
One cannot « understand a Christian alone » any more than « Jesus Christ alone » can be understood.
Jesus Christ did not fall from the sky like a superhero who comes to save us. No. Jesus Christ has a history. And we can say, and it is true, that God has a history because He wanted to walk with us. And you cannot understand Jesus Christ without His history. So a Christian without history, without a Christian nation, a Christian without the Church is incomprehensible. It is a thing of the laboratory, an artificial thing, a thing that cannot give life.
Our Christian identity is belonging to a people: the Church . Without this, we are not Christians. We entered the Church through baptism: there we are Christians.
And for this reason, we should be asking for the grace of memory, the memory of the journey that the people of God has made; also of personal memory: What God did for me, in my life, how has he made me walk … Ask for the grace of hope; ask for the grace to renew the covenant with the Lord who has called us every day.
May the Lord give us these three graces, which are necessary for the Christian identity.