Every Thursday we meet after the evening prayer. It is a time to rejoice at being together on this hill of Taizé: being together to go to the wellsprings of faith. And we want to show that putting our trust in God is not an empty word, but that we commit ourselves resolutely to set out on this small way.
I would like to greet you all personally, but there are too many of us. So in a few minutes the children will name all the countries represented and distribute flowers to each one.
But I would like to say to those from Britain, who are especially numerous this week, how happy we are that they are present. Even the weather, with the rain and the cool temperatures, has become English this week!
For many people today, placing their trust in God is not automatic. If God exists, he is far beyond anything we can imagine. How can we have a relationship with a God who is infinitely beyond us?
That is when we listen to the early Christians, and we trust them. They tell us that we can turn to Christ Jesus. God, like the sun, is too dazzling for us to see. But Jesus let God’s light shine through.
The early Christians even went to the point of saying that Jesus was the Son of God. To follow them, there is a leap to be made. The utterly simple life of Jesus, described in the gospels, contrasts with that claim.
Jesus is the Son of God: what does that mean? It means that he did not come to tell us what to do and not do, but to share with us God’s own life.
What is and always will be utterly new, surprisingly, is that Jesus communicated the light of God through a simple life. He was not a superman; on the contrary, God’s life in him made him more human.
He went to the point of loving his enemies, because God excludes no one from his love. On the cross, he opened a spring of living water that will never run dry, the wellspring of God’s forgiveness. Drinking from that spring enables us too to become more deeply human.
And after his resurrection, the first words he spoke to his disciples were "Peace be with you." Christ’s peace is more than a feeling that would remain inside us. With his peace, Christ gives us the ability to create relationships of peace around us.
Could we listen more to the voice of Christ who, very quietly, without imposing himself, sets his peace in our heart and thus makes us peacemakers, women and men of compassion?
All this week we are praying for the Arab peoples, and also for the people of Japan, after the disaster of the earthquake and the tsunami. A young Japanese man, who was a volunteer in Taizé for a long time, Michio, recently returned to his country. He wrote these lines:
I went to spend five days in Minamisanriku, in the province of Miyagi. There, it was as if the end of the world had come. The tsunami completely destroyed the city. It needs a lot of prayers. But there were also some surprises for me. When I went to the emergency center, I found a seminarian friend who is in charge of it. They have a daily prayer with the songs of Taizé. I was able to join them.In Japan, everyone tries to save electricity because of the accident at the nuclear plant. So the nights are darker than before. I was afraid of radioactivity when I had to go through Fukushima, on the train line between Tokyo and Miyagi. Many people are stressed because of it. On the other hand, they are reflecting on the future much more deeply than before.
These days, in Taizé we are from so many countries and from different continents. Brother Roger wanted our community to be a little "parable of communion", a sign of Christ’s peace that brings together and renews humanity. Thanks to you all, we can make this parable of communion wider.
And then we become able to realize that, at a time when so many people cruelly lack peace and a minimum of well-being, we cannot remain passive, but we have to make use of all our energies to contribute to a world of greater justice and peace.