There is a certain virtue we are not used to talk about, despite its beauty and its ability of making good things – it is magnanimity. And what is the meaning of a virtue expressed by such a beautiful word? This is exactly the message of this Sunday.
Our Lord tells us about the grandeur of the heart of those He calls “you who listen to me”. In the first place, who are these who “listen” to the Lord? They are all those who, taking seriously the call of the Heavenly Father, meditate on the Word of the Gospel, and welcome it into the depths of the soul, where the Word will bear the fruits of sanctification.
What is this grandeur of heart of which Jesus speaks? There are many verbs used by Him to describe it: to love, to bless, to pray, to give, to forgive, to do, not to condemn, not to judge. And all these excellent actions, to whom are they addressed? To those who do just the opposite towards us, as expressed by these verbs: to hate, to curse, to mistreat, to beat, to slander. Magnanimity, therefore, is not taking offence with anything. It is to have an enlarged, broad and immense heart, which the more is wounded, the more it pours out love. A magnanimous heart lives in peace.
The first reading of the Book of Samuel shows us the magnanimous heart of King David. Having the opportunity to kill the one who sought to kill him, he preferred, however, to spare the life of the persecutor and to seek paths of peace.
Magnanimous actions, however, are not easy to be put into practice. In order to practice them, the Christian needs to strengthen his union with the Lord. It is necessary that Christ himself operates the good deeds in his disciples through the action of the Holy Spirit. For this reason, the second reading, taken from the First Letter to the Corinthians, shows us Christ as the source of supernatural life: “the second Adam is a life-giving spirit” (1 Cor 15:45).
The question that arises now is, how do we get this supernatural life from the Lord? Today’s prayer gives us an important clue: “Grant, we pray, almighty God, that always pondering spiritual things, we may carry out in both word and deed that which is pleasing to you “. Now, this “pondering spiritual things” is to be understood within the meditative and contemplative tradition of the Church. It is through meditation that we enter more intimately into the presence of God, giving him the opportunity to purify and sanctify us from within the deepest parts of our being.
After Our Lord, there is no more magnanimous heart than the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Through meditation and fervent prayer to the Blessed Mother, we can enter into a greater spiritual communion with Her, so that, through Her, and in a more effectively way, God Her Son, will be able to sanctify us and grant us the grace to be magnanimous, that is, to have a broad and immense heart, which the more they wound, the more it pours out love.