"To man and beast, O Lord," says the psalmist, "you ensure health in proportion to the immense extent of your compassionate kindness (Ps 35:7). If God grants to all, to the good and to the bad, to men and to animals, such a precious gift, my brothers, what will he not reserve for those who are faithful to him? It is worthwhile to follow the Lord, to be faithful to Him at all times, to give everything for Him, to be generous without measure. He tells us, through St. John Chrysostom: "The gold you intend to lend, give it to me, for I will pay you more interest and with more security. The body which you think to enlist in the militia of another, enlist it in mine, for I surpass all in pay and retribution..... His love is great. If you wish to lend to Him, He is willing to receive. If you wish to sow, He sells the seed; if to build, He says to you: build on my plots. Why do you run after the things of men, who are poor beggars and can do nothing? Run after God, who for little things gives you great things".
We must not forget that to the reward the Lord adds persecutions, because these too are a reward for the disciples of Christ; the glory of the Christian is to resemble his Master, taking part in his Cross to participate with Him in his glory. If these trials come, in their most diverse forms (bloody persecution, slander, professional discrimination, mockery...), we must understand that we can turn them into a good, part of the prize, because the Lord allows us to participate in his Cross and to unite ourselves more closely to him.
Whoever is faithful to Christ is promised Heaven forever. He will hear the voice of the Lord, whom he has sought to serve here on earth, saying to him: Come, blessed of my Father, to the Heaven which he has prepared since the creation of the world17. Hearing these words of welcome to eternity already compensates for all that we put aside to better follow Christ, or for the little that we had to suffer for Him. We enter eternity by the hand of Jesus.
And although we follow Christ out of love, if the moment comes when everything seems to cost a little more, it will do us good to repeat slowly some ejaculation that helps us to think of the prize: it is worth it, it is worth it, it is worth it, it is worth it. In this way hope will be strengthened and the journey will become secure.
If we have Jesus Christ, we will lack nothing else. From the life of St. Thomas Aquinas it is told that one day Our Lord said to him, "You have written well of me, Thomas; what reward do you desire?" "Lord," replied the Saint, "none but You." Nor do we want anything else: with Jesus, close to Him, we will walk through life full of joy.
May St. Mary obtain for us, through her powerful intercession, firm dispositions of detachment and generosity, and in this way, as she knew how to do, may we spread around us a joyful climate of love for Christian poverty.