Homily of H.E. Mons. Claudio Gatti of August 11, 2009
My dear little Marisa, sweet little sister, God placed us on each other's path and for thirty-eight years we have lived by loving and respecting the purity of soul, purity of heart, rectitude of feelings. I feel within myself, and this is not my merit, a strength, a serenity and an abandonment that you promised you would have given me and as usual you are keeping your word.
You are my sweet little sister, but you are also the spiritual mother of this community that has gathered around you. If you were not here, if I were not here, today, in the Church the love for Jesus the Eucharist would have been poor and weak, instead it burst with such a power that the angels themselves were left astonished and amazed.
Since resurrection is in proportion to the passion and death (to have an idea it is enough to think of Jesus Christ's), we can easily say now that our resurrection is propitiated by our suffering, especially by your sacrifice, which I have defined "the ultimate act of love" towards me; all this will lead us to truly enjoy God's promises.
Understanding God is hard, and you know it better than me, my little sister, what to us seems irrational, it is actually pursuing a logical thread of impressive naturalness and spontaneity. What to us seems fair and equitable it is actually meeting with opposition and difficulties.
Let's talk about your life!
Today is just a simple goodbye, the speed with which you flew to Heaven has somehow wrongfooted us. Not everyone has been able to come, but what counts is that when we will celebrate, I think in October, the great feast of your mystical marriage with Jesus, this is going to be magnificent, wonderful and full of joy. This was your wish, I promised it and this will be done.
You have fully lived, my dear little sister, what Paul says in the letter to the Philippians: "For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain". Oh yes, during thirty-eight years how many times I heard you wanting to reach Heaven, but immediately you would add, along with Paul: "If my stay on Earth is good for you, despite the suffering, I stay". This has meant, my dear sister, that millions of conversions were made, families were reunited, children were born whereas they would have never been born, vocations were born, matured and grown. Do you remember when, occasionally, Our Lady used to let us meet those souls and she would say to us: "That priest is the fruit of your work and your suffering"?
And now there you are. Yesterday, speaking at the morgue I said this is not a coffin but a paten, and then I offered to God the content of this paten. The victim and priest, the priest who was raising the victim, the host because the host means the victim, to God; while this liturgical gesture was being done, all of the Heaven, including that voice so sweet, pleasant and maternal of grandmother Iolanda was praying and exalting God.
I am waiting for you; sooner or later, I know, you will come to pay me a visit, I know that you will come, in this place, to visit the people living in the grace of God. Here everything speaks about love, power, grace, sincerity and you have experienced all this. It is true, for what you gave you should have been entitled to collect more love, more respect, more consideration, but you worked for the souls, you have never worked, my dear little sister, to receive human rewards. However, at this moment, I am sure, Heaven is rumbustiously celebrating. Millions, millions and millions of souls saved by you are celebrating, and when finally, God willing, you will come to visit us, no more we will see you suffering, no more with tears in your eyes due to your suffering, but there will be the joy of bringing your brothers to God, for this is the Christian reality. O little sister, thirty-eight years have passed! Nobody, nobody, I repeat, nobody can understand in any way what we lived and how we lived. Others would think, and it was right, to their boyfriend or girlfriend, work, family, salary, but they would not think to the souls. The Lord has entrusted us so many of them and because souls do not occupy any room, here, I am sure, there are thousands of them.
When I celebrated the H. Mass on the 8th, I knew that next to Our lady, who is always with me when I celebrate, you were there too, along with Grandmother Iolanda who loved me so much and with S. Joseph whom I respect and think he is the greatest saint of everyone and everything.
Now I say: go my little sister, run in the Heavenly spaces, chase and play with children of all races and all colors you have helped and followed and sprinkle liberally the earth of true love, and I am sure, those who will benefit from it will really change their life.
My little sister, thank you for what you did for me, silently you committed your last great act of love; you shall tell me if, in unconscious bilocation at least, God allowed me to be near you, for all plans were adapted to the new situations, new requirements. Now I see you smiling in my soul, I see you happy, I see you ready to receive the prayers of these brothers because each of them will have graces to ask. Let me tell you a sentence that was addressed at that time to John Paul II and, modestly, I think you are more rightful to hear: "Sainthood immediately"; yes, sainthood immediately. We have to thank God for giving us people like you and cry not because they were taken away from us.
Now, on behalf of the whole community, I lay a kiss on this paten, and in this kiss there is all the gratitude, all the love and everything beautiful, great, honest and clean we have had in your regard.
I won't say "Goodbye" but "bye-bye" because "bye-bye" means "See you soon"; every time I will celebrate a Mass you will be next to me, every time I will pray you will be next to me, every time I will suffer to bring forward the mission God has entrusted me with, you will be next to me, so mine is a brotherly, affectionate, friendly and convinced "bye-bye".
Bye-bye, little Marisa, may God bless you and take you in the highest of Heaven, where together with the angels and saints, you will sing: "Holy, holy, holy is our Lord the God of armies", for the power of God is to conquer hearts and win souls. Bye-bye, see you later, my dear little sister.
Remember: death is life and is the gateway to communicate with God.