Homily of H.E. Mons. Claudio Gatti of March 8, 2009
Second Sunday of Lent
1st Reading: Gen 22:1, 2:9a, 13:15-18; Psalm 115; 2nd Reading: Rom 8:31b-34; Gospel: Mk 9:2-10
Today we stop at a particular passage in the first reading, taken from Genesis and the third portion of Mark's Gospel. Let us pause to consider the passage from Genesis: it is very well known, is a passage on which Paul himself is talking about by presenting Abraham as the example of a man of faith who believed against all evidence, almost against the same word spoken by God, and proclaimed him "the father of all believers". And so it is, the word of God does not lie; if we question the Church history, we will realize that our Lord has sown this episode in his Church by letting, as living lanterns full of faith, many Abraham, both men and women, both young and old to live within it. Abraham's stature is not unique and exclusive, there are plenty of Abraham. If you have well preserved in your mind the story that is told at the beginning of each volume gathering the letters of God for each year, you will see that there you will really find Abraham. You all, in some way, can figure out that perhaps unlike Abraham in his fullness, but as Abraham's children, have lived some personal experiences, dramatic at times, but knowing that certain promises must be fulfilled. The Lord wants us to believe in Him blindly, even if, often, He puts us in a situation of opposition, misunderstanding, condemnation and irony from other men. The Lord wants a total and complete faith, full abandonment. Do you remember what Our Lady said last Friday to Marisa: "Let yourself go to God"? I make this my exhortation and I am asking the same to you: let ourselves go to God completely. It is not a big effort when things go well, we go forward with enthusiasm, joy and serenity, but if we have to deal with other people and our positions and beliefs are different from the judgments of others, and by saying "others" I embrace a huge subject ranging from those who belong to the highest ranks of the Church hierarchy to the more modest level: religious people, nuns and consecrated souls, we have found and we will find ourselves in a situation of full and complete contrast. Do you believe that it is not hard, it is not a source of suffering, it is not torn our heart, it is not tormented the soul in this situation? Oh yes. The loneliness of Gethsemane in the light of God is a gift that our Lord reserves for His most trusted friends. The three apostles He had called to be His closest were not able to share with Him this agonizing prospect of Gethsemane, but in the history God has found souls who have shared His Son's passion and agony in Gethsemane. What I really like to emphasize is that Christ not only suffered the desertion of His Father in Gethsemane, but also knew the betrayal of friends as Judas, was unjustly accused by the legitimate religious authority of the time and then convicted by the legitimate civil authority of the time. It's an amazing situation. I would like you to begin to consider the Passion under a slightly different light: it is not so much surprising the fact of suffering, which is obvious, and you know it since you reached the age of discretion, for the crucifix image is familiar, But the real tragedy is that God was convicted by a legitimate authority. The conventional thinkers might have said that were the high priests of the time, the Sanhedrin, Jewish court par excellence, the Roman prosecutor representing the Roman Emperor to regard Christ as a malefactor. It's awful! Did you ever think about it? Often Jesus and God let their friends to go through such experience. If I had been convicted, accused, mocked by atheists who, paradoxically, never did, I would have said it was just, normal. Do you think atheists could accept God's intervention in history, such as apparitions, Eucharistic miracles, the Episcopal ordination of Bishop, Marisa's clairvoyance and passion that she sometimes experienced outwardly, visibly? No, but nothing they said. On the contrary, what was the reaction of those who sat on the various thrones of which Our Lady spoke today? They condemned. By whom I have been condemned? By the Ecclesiastical authority. Christ, by whom was He convicted? But in turn, they were condemned by God and, similarly, those who have condemned God's prophets in the Church long history will be condemned by Him.
Consider the third secret of Fatima: "soldiers who fired bullets and arrows". Clerics have talked about this sentence and said it represents the atheist systems fighting the Church. Instead God said that are members of the ecclesiastical authorities who throughout the centuries (the distinction can be understood through the image of arrows, weapons of a certain historical period, and guns, weapons of another historical period) have unjustly condemned God's prophets in order to cover themselves. These prophets are truly God's prophets throughout the Church history, the many Abraham to whom God has made promises that no one knows when they will be realized. We should also add that only Abraham knew of God's order to sacrifice his son. Sara did not know it either, nor Isaac. Do you think Sara, as a mother, would not have made opposition? Nobody knew anything, he was the only one to be ready and available. Do you see how important it is to study also the great figures of the Old Testament? I say these things because I want you to realize that Abraham's situation was clearly defined, while the many Abraham in the Church history found themselves in different situations, known and discussed by many people, then the sentence did not come from a single person, but from more than one person, not from an authority, but from all those who felt the same way. So today, Our Lady said something very significant that requires an explanation: "God has been working for years in silence in order to remove..." How can this happen? I have my own interpretation, but I cannot announce it because I am always waiting the input from High Above, but it is a fact. You have been wondering, and rightly so, but does not it mean to believe in the absurd? You too are called to believe in something going against logic, rationality, knowledge, experience, against everything. So we are a community of Abraham; those who want to continue are welcome, but as the Lord asks each of us to kill our beliefs, our ideas, our attitude, those who do not feel up to task may leave. Abraham did not reach the point to kill his son, we are called to question everything that is humanly present in us and believe blindly in the absurd. In fact none of us, not even I who asked God how this tipping of situations will happen, can humanly understand how it can happen. God answered me simply: "Yes indeed it will happen! I am God, I know what I say and what I do", and once more asked full and total abandonment. Let us ask ourselves once again: are there human conditions to reverse our situation? There is not even half! And when Christ was nailed and died on the cross, was humanly there the basis for His victory, His triumph, His resurrection if there had not been for the faith that He was God? So much so, that His enemies were rubbing their hands, thinking they got rid of Him, except noticing, thereafter, that Christ continued to be present in an even more powerful way than He was during the period of public life. This is God! It is useless to have theoretical and abstract talks without concrete content because what I am telling you is history, is life. Our Lady is right when she says that it is impossible to understand the whys of God. I cannot do it myself, but not because I'm an idiot: I cannot do it because I am confronted with things that really put my mind at risk. The mind infers certain situations in a logical manner; instead, God's interventions are not even logical. In fact do you think it logical that God has reduced, as He himself said, the world leading Bishop and the world leading Seer to live in this situation? Do you find any logic in it? Neither do I, but this does not mean that God is not rational, it means that is so much higher than we are that we cannot understand His ways. That's it. God is so perfect and so infinite that all descriptions and criteria escape us because between our and His thinking there is an unbridgeable abyss, an infinite abyss. I cannot understand God, nor understand His reasoning. This could even be bothersome for us, but it is rightly so. When children receive from their parents an order they do not understand and resist, does it mean that the child does not love Mum or Dad? No, but there is in him the desire to understand, even if he does not succeed. With God, we find ourselves in the same situation; in us is present the need to understand Him, to reverse the situations: God says one thing, but another occurs, we have experienced all these things, certainly the Bishop and the Seer in a more gripping manner than you did, but partly you too have experienced it.
Let us go now to the Gospel. If I were to transfigure, I would have called everyone, television, newspapers, the press, this is human logic. That is the way we men would act if we could have some strong and powerful manifestations. But what is God doing? He does not even call all the apostles, but only three of them. Moreover, after the event, He forced them into silence. It is an absurd way of doing things, but is God behaving like that and we have to adjust to His style. Let me underline another point. A nice cloud came into view (Marisa too saw God show up in the clouds, especially when we were in the mountains), which was different from the others due to its glowing outline and some bright lights inside. If I am not wrong, God manifested twice in a physical way, hiding in countless lights of varying and wonderful intensity, for He cannot be seen until we are in Heaven. The three apostles have had the experience of this cloud, the one that accompanied the Jewish people during the journey from Egypt to Palestine. For them it was clear that there was the Lord, they had absolutely no doubt. But there is more: the cloud enveloped the three of them in its shadow; that is how God embraced them. By living so many experiences with Marisa, many times God has embraced and kissed us too, I do not know how this happened, but it is significant that it happened, and I speak to you about it so you may understand that God adapts to men. Our expressions of affection are these: hug, kiss, handshake, smile, glance. So God adapts and openly expresses his affection. The greatness of a manifestation of God does not depend on the number of witnesses humanly accomplished or not accomplished; every action of God is infinitely great and important in itself, even if it takes place in the presence of only one or very few witnesses. What is men way of thinking? Sometimes we too fall into this trap, for we thought that we are so few and diminishing more and more, but is God's action perhaps classified by the number of people present? Oddly, it just happens that there are tens of thousands going after a man, a so-called artist, while those following God are a lot less, but God's action qualifies by itself. It is not us giving importance to God's action, apparitions, Eucharistic miracles when they occurred; it is not you giving importance to the Bishop ordained by God and to the most important Seer, according to God, in the whole Church history; it is not you giving importance to the Holy Door that God wanted to be kept open in the chapel in this thaumaturgic place. It is not you, is God! And even if others do not believe, the reality and action of God are always important. Do you see how many things are to be changed in the Church? It is man who must adapt to God and His will, and that was what God said a few days ago, addressing me and Marisa.
This week you have so much food for thought. Look at all that God has done and ask yourself: today, how have I set myself and how will I set myself before the works of God, before the action of God who has worked in the thaumaturgic place? You have to give Him the answer and you must be forcefully honest, for He comes within and knows us far better than we know ourselves. So, if there had been uncertainties, hesitations, or even doubts, acknowledge them and ask to be forgiven. I am not speaking about our mood, which is normal for everybody, but I am speaking about those doubts which are stored, managed, repeated within us polluting our heart and all its manifestations.