The Gospel is a letter from a beloved person


When Albino Luciani was Patriarch of Venice, before becoming Pope John Paul I, some elderly priests, accustomed to remarkable preachers like his predecessors in the patriarchal office, criticized him a little for the simplicity and naivety of the examples he sprinkled in his preaching. But he replied to this by saying, “The word of God is but a letter. My mother, when the postman brought her a letter from my father, who was working in Germany, would open it eagerly, read it and reread it; then she would run to answer it and immediately put it in the mailbox. This is the Word of God, a letter from a person who we love, a letter that is expected; we read it to make it our own and we answer it immediately” with our actions.

This advice is very helpful to understand why Jesus did not come to abolish the law and the prophets but rather came to add more weight to it: for example, “love your enemies.” This means that the New Testament is more demanding than the Old Testament, however, the New Testament is easier or more tolerable.

Why? Because the New Law has the same characteristics of a friendship.  In fact, we could call it “friendship’s law.” This is why I should read it as a letter from a beloved person since the New Testament creates a personal connection between God and my soul. A connection of friendship or a connection of love between God and myself. This is what it means that Jesus’ Law is a law written on the heart rather than on a rock. It is not something external, but rather internal: it is love and grace in order to fulfill it.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, in the Commentary on the letter to the Galatians, said: “the New Law begets love’s affection, which belongs to freedom, since the one who loves, moves by himself.” Let us ask Our Blessed Mother for the grace to love Jesus’ Words and that will help us to fulfill them.

Daily homily


Get new publications direct to your inbox.