Christians are not allowed to despair; they’re not allowed to accept defeat. Their homes can fall apart, their wealth can be lost, but they get up and continue to fight against all adversaries. Lazy spirits, nestled in their comfortable ways, become frightened at the idea of a struggle. But Christianity will be around for as long as faith in the Resurrection resists. The Resurrection of Christ, which inserts us in Him and makes us sharers in His life, obliges us to never despair. It gives us the secret for getting up again after every knock down.
Lent is also an examination of conscience, through which we can consider what is buzzing around in the depth of our soul and of our society in which Christianity has become business as usual for many of us, without any pulse or impetus, like a sail without wind.
Lent prepares us for the Resurrection of Christ, which is the reason for the rebirth of our faith, hope and charity: the victory of deeds over negative tendencies. Easter teaches us to overcome our mournful passions in order to be reborn, each one of us, in a unity of affections with our neighbor and with every population, in a harmony of good works in order to establish ourselves in the kingdom of God. This is translated into a social constitution that has authority, laws and sanctions, actions in favour of the good of the people. It reaches to Heaven, but passes through the world. And it is modelled on the Divine Order. It’s law is the Gospel that contains unity, solidarity, equality, paternity,service, justice, rationality, truth, the battle against the abuse of power, against enmity, error, stupidity…
Seeking the kingdom therefore means seeking the happiest conditions for the free expression of the life of individuals and of society as a whole. The reason is obvious: Wherever God reigns, the human person is like a son of God, a creature of infinite value who treats others and is treated by them as a brother [or sister]. And he treats them as he would like to be treated. The goods of the earth are shared in a brotherly way. Love and forgiveness flow. Barriers don’t matter, because they don’t have any meaning within the universality of love.
Putting the kingdom of God first, therefore, means raising the goal of human life. Those who seek first the kingdom of Man, seek a goal that is subjected to rivalry and dispute; whereas, the Divine objective draws people higher than their fights, and unites them in love. Then, within that unification, in that higher vision of the things of the earth, matters such as eating, clothing and enjoying take on the right proportions. They’re coloured with new meaning, are simplified in love, and you have the full life. Also in this sense Christ has conquered the world for us.
Igino Giordani. Le feste, S.E.I. (Società Editrice Internazionale), Turin, 1954, pp. 110-125.