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They Begged Jesus to Leave


If Christ is a present event, we meet him every day. 

disciplesYet we do not realize it because we are distracted.  We meet him every day.  He crosses our path and calls us friends.  But alongside a kind of moved acknowledgment and a vague emotion that most people feel when they hear the name Jesus Christ, there is a hostility towards him today that there has never been before, except in the earliest days, when they crucified him and killed his martyrs, when they outlawed his witnesses in the first centuries. 

It is a generalized hostility, fed and produced systematically, so well supported theoretically that we get accustomed to it day by day without realizing it, and this reveals how distracted we are.  And when we do realize it — and this is worse — we pretend not to hear and not to see; we don't consider it important....

This hatred characterizes human history.  It is, as it were, the ongoing result of the mysterious wound of original sin in human history.  It articulates and becomes concrete day by day, through all the powers, as an enormously evil and mendacious possibility.  For it is power that takes up and personifies this possibility, gives it life, intelligence, and weapons, and makes a wicked plan of it.  It is in this hatred that the father of lies works, making use of all the powers, that father of lies described by Jesus when he speaks of Satan to the Pharisees.  Hatred for Jesus is the theme necessary for every power that does not consciously draw its humble and dramatic origin from obedience to the supreme power of the Father....

In this state of affairs, which would be the norm without God's intervention, the initiative of Christ present continually makes his people live and renews it.



guissani Monsignor Luigi Giussani. "They Begged Jesus to Leave." excerpt from Generating Traces in the History of the World: New Traces of the Christian Experience (Kingston, ON: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2010).

This excerpt appeared in Magnificat.

Reprinted with permission of McGill-Queen's University Press.

The Author

guissaniguissani1Servant of God Monsignor Luigi Giussani (1922-2005), as a result of his encounters with young people, began a method of communicating the Christian faith, starting from the fundamental needs of human experience. He founded the Catholic lay movement Communion and Liberation in 1954. His books include Generating Traces in the History of the World: New Traces of the Christian Experience The Risk of Education: Discovering Our Ultimate Destiny, At the Origin of the Christian Claim, Is It Possible To Live This Way? Volume 1: Faith, Is It Possible To Live This Way? Volume 2: Hope, Is It Possible To Live This Way? Volume 3: Charity, The Religious Sense, The Journey to Truth is an Experience, and Why the Church?

Copyright © 2010 McGill-Queen's University Press
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