The celebration of God’s empathy

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With joy and familiarity, Wednesday, December 16, at the headquarters of the Alphonsian Academy was held the Christmas party of the community.

Welcomed and embraced by the melody of the song “Tu scendi dalle stelle” (You come down from the stars), Prof. Bielìnski Krzysztof moderated the cultural/spiritual event introducing the day and giving an affectionate welcome to all those present and to those who followed via the internet. The introductory greetings also reached two students connected online from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

After this first moment of welcome, there was a meditative Christmas reflection led by Prof. Mario Boies, with the theme: “The Incarnation: The empathy of God the Father and Jesus the Redeemer towards humanity”. With depth and communicability, he gave the participants “a magnifying glass”, called EMPATHY, to look with the breadth of mind and heart at the mystery of a God who becomes flesh. He enucleated the meaning of this word, starting from a statement of Pope Francis about it. The Pontiff states that “empathy implies the ability to listen to the other unconditionally; it requires listening to the suffering of the other.”

In light of what has been said, it is clear that being empathic means recognizing the emotions of others as if they were your own, immersing your own life in the reality of others to understand their thoughts, feelings, points of view. In other words, it requires the ability to “put oneself in the other’s shoes” perceiving, in this way, emotions and thoughts. And God, in the mystery of the Incarnation, has clothed his only Son with the clothes of humanity.

In fact, the “compassionate” love of the Father is fully manifested in the Christmas of Jesus, because he wished to enter deeply into the life of man to redeem and save him.

In the last part, we highlighted how St. Alphonsus Maria de’ Liguori also adopted an empathic style in his spiritual works. In a particular way, we find this in his novena to Holy Christmas in which he describes the love of the Father towards the Son, of the Son towards us, and us towards the Holy Trinity and consequently towards our brothers and sisters. Man loved in this way by God is called to act and live in empathy with life and with others.

After the meditation, everyone moved to the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, adjacent to the Alphonsian Academy, for the Eucharistic celebration: an opportunity to see realized on the altar the empathic love of God for man. The celebration was presided over by presbyter Fr Rodi Noura, the first Maronite priest, trained in the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Galilee.  Don Angelo Rizzo, in charge of the homily, shared the bread of the Word of God, saying: “Jesus teaches the most authentic way to get out of the time of crisis: not through sophistry and learned reasoning but by opening our eyes to the works that God constantly carries out in the life of each one”.

At the end of the Mass, the principal, Alfonso Amarante, thanked the students present and those who had organized the event, and wished to live this time of Advent and Christmas just as Saint Alphonsus suggested: “time of lovers and time of the outpouring of divine love”.

Rev. Roberto Lonoce

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