Discovering our inner strength

One day, Jesus led the apostles up a high mountain and he was transfigured in their presence. A voice was heard, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” The apostles felt within them such strength that they eagerly descended the mountain, ready to follow Jesus, putting their trust in him in their everyday life. They had understood the import of “Listen to the Father’s beloved Son.”

To “listen,” in biblical terms, is to make oneself open and attentive to the message of the One who speaks, to allow the message to be well grounded so as to transform one’s life by its presence. Brother André understood that if God asks us to listen to his beloved Son, it is so that he can reveal to us the existence of our inner strength, like that of God. This strength which makes us desire to be in relation with the other, and which permits the Spirit to put forth his fruits which are love, peace, patience, gentleness, generosity, and self-control, as writes St. Paul. (Galatians 5:22-23)

When we set ourselves to listen to Jesus, he helps us to realize our great desire: to be in a loving relation with him and with others. He allows us to experience this loving relation within our inner strength which is itself the Spirit. Even today, in his beloved Son, God brings himself close to us. On life’s difficult paths, we can put our trust in him.

Jesus is like a friend who wants to enter in relation with us, so that from this encounter results a fruitfulness which goes far beyond our poor limits, which was the experience of Brother André.

Jesus does this simply by means of the random events of our life. He does it through the people around us. God is always there, hoping that we are listening. But in no way does he pressure us to respond. God wants to enter into a relationship with us with a deep desire to liberate the life in us which wants to manifest itself in its beauty and all its richness.

Even today, like the apostles, we discover our impotence in the face of life, in the face of others. We live full of disquiet in the face of the pandemic, in the face of unemployment, in the face of the economic and political situation. Often we feel helpless in the face of the challenges which we must take on. Beyond all this, in this Eastertide, God chooses us as he chose the apostles, as he chose the humble Brother André. We must become conscious of the fact that, it is through our weaknesses that God wants to deploy in each and every one of us all the fervor of his strength.

He identifies himself with one who is his ally.

Just as God needed apostles, so he needs us. God chose us to fulfill a mission which may seem beyond our capabilities, but Brother André is our witness in this regard: nothing is impossible for GOD. We are beloved by God and Easter reminds us that God needs us to testify to his love in our world.

Let us be alert, listening for the Son beloved of the Father and let us say from the depths of our heart, with humble confidence, “Lord, your ways are love and truth; you are the light of our lives.”

Jean-Pierre Aumont, CSC