Has it ever happened to you to pass some time in a crowded bar, in a park full of people, in a bus or on the train: sounds on top of sounds that create a great confusion? Often, however our head can also pound in perfect exterior silence. Inside us, different voices yell: “You can’t do this”, “Mark is better than me”, “Why don’t I ever have any time?” “I have so many defects”; “I have no money”… How annoying our limits are to us. We would like to be able to eradicate them and throw them in the fire, and then we would feel strong and complete. But let’s listen careful to the voices that crowd into our minds: They are not always the bars of a cage; often they are springs that launch us to new heights. The car with which we take ourselves to work, the phone that will ring in a little while, the stove that we use to cook and all the wonders of technology are the fruit of our limits. Difficulties are a stimulus for man’s intelligence that is called to give new answers for different situations. Thus one grows, improving himself and society. In front of the challenges that the world places before us, we fully develop our personality and we “free our spirit”.
If we were omnipotent, how could we ever reach God? Only when we are aware of our limits, we discover ourselves as fragile creatures. Then we spontaneously raise our eyes and say, with marvel and confidence: “God, so many things escape me, I need you”. From the beginning our ancestors have done this. In the pages of the Gospel we read that the good thief, exactly during his agony on the cross, recognized God’s immense love in Jesus. And for Him the words of salvation were spoken: “Today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Lk 23:43). The story repeats itself today. How many times God uses moments in which man feels weakest for going to him with open arms and showing himself as Father! Perhaps you could give me names and tell me stories of some people that in sickness or great suffering (for example the death of a dear one) have come closer to the faith. They have stopped following “useless” things, sure that true joy comes from knowing how to accept God’s love. Whoever witnessed these experiences has seen how God can work wonders when man, aware of his own fragility, trusts totally in Him. “When I am weak, it is then that I am strong,” wrote St. Paul. It can still amaze us that even the limit of sin can be an occasion of our meeting with God.
The words that Jesus directs at Zaccheus are great comfort for all. In fact Jesus says to each of us: “The Son of Man came to save that which was lost” (cfr. Lk 19:20). He came to find us in the midst of our limits, to give us salvation, that is the most profound and lasting happiness. Every time that, full of our limits, we approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Lord gives us a new heart, capable of loving. Still more surprising however, is the fact that our profound experience of God’s love will overcome the greatest limit of every man in every age: death. What weakness is greater? What reality is more feared? In from of what else is man more powerless?
And it is precisely through this passage that we are placed in eternity. It is the supreme limit, that Jesus also lived, that will permit us to enjoy God’s love forever. Listening to the voices that crowd our minds reminding us of our weaknesses, it is easy to lose peace. Certainly it is still difficult to accept our limits, especially in such a competitive society, where it seems that only what is perfect is lovable.
However, let’s try to look at ourselves as God sees us. He calls us with unique affection and tenderness. Our limits are not an obstacle to his love, but an occasion to meet with Him. So let’s pray that every moment of weakness (at home, school, work, with friends, etc) helps us to open up our hearts and to redirect us with sincerity towards He who alone is our strength. In these days in which the liturgy invites us to contemplate in a special way the mystery of the death and Resurrection of Jesus, we can put in his hands all our weakness and ask him to find it transfigured into the power and joy of his Easter.