Rorate Caeli

Ecce ascendimus Ierosolymam
Lent is coming... - II

I was offered high positions in government and I was asked to give up my battle, but I always refused, even at the risk of my life. My answer was always the same: "No, I want to serve Jesus as a common man." 
This devotion makes me happy. I do not look for popularity, I do not want positions of power. I just want a place at the feet of Jesus. I want my life, my character, my actions to speak for myself and to say that I am following Jesus Christ. This desire is so strong in me that I consider myself privileged if - in my effort and my struggle to help the needy, the poor, the persecuted Christians of Pakistan - Jesus would accept the sacrifice of my life. I want to live for Christ and for Him I wish to die. I feel no fear in this country.

Many times, the extremists tried to kill me and imprison me, I have been threatened, persecuted and my family has been terrorized. The extremists, a few years ago, even asked my parents, my mother and my father, to dissuade me from continuing my mission to help Christians and those in need, otherwise I would be lost. But my father always encouraged me. I say that, as long as I live, until my last breath, I will continue to serve Jesus and this poor, suffering, mankind, Christians, the needy, and the poor.

I want to tell you that I find much inspiration in the Holy Bible and the life of Jesus Christ.The more I read the New and the Old Testament, Bible verses, and the word of the Lord, the stronger are my strength and my will. When I reflect on the fact that Jesus Christ sacrificed everything, that God sent His own Son for our redemption and our salvation, I wonder how I can follow the way of Calvary. Our Lord said, "Come with me, take up your cross and follow me." The words I love most of the Bible state: "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink, I was a stranger and you took me in, I was naked and you clothed me, ill and you visited me, in prison and you came to me." So when I see the poor and needy, I think that, under their appearance, Jesus is the one to meet me.

So I always try to be helpful, along with my colleagues, to give assistance to the needy, the hungry, the thirsty.
[Shahbaz Bhatti, Cristiani in Pakistan. Nelle prove la speranza (Christians in Pakistan: hope in tribulation), Marcianum Press, Venice, 2008 (p. 39-43)]
[Tip: Papa Ratzinger blog; text: Fondazione Oasis]