Homily of H.E. Mons. Claudio Gatti of May 17, 2009
1st reading: Gen 28:10-22, Psalm 22:2-9, 2nd reading: Phil 1:15-24, Gospel Mt 11:25-30
From the Meditation of today's Holy Scripture readings, some combinations emerge between the Word of God and the experience of our sister Marisa, of whom we celebrate the anniversary of her total consecration to God.
Today, for the first time in more than twenty years, I will disclose what the exact meaning of a vision Marisa and I had enjoyed, similar to the one described in the first reading, chosen from the book of Genesis.
"Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the Lord, and he said: "I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you".
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought: "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it". He was afraid and said: "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, this is the gate of heaven". Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.
Then Jacob made a vow, saying: "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father's household, then the Lord will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth"" (Gen 28:10-22).
We had spent a period of rest in Croatia and concluded it in Medjugorje by order of the Mother of the Eucharist. During the return trip, towards Split where we were to embark for Italy, we were invited by Our Lady to stop the car facing the sea. We obeyed and immediately I saw a beautiful golden ladder, as described in the book of Genesis, which rested his feet in the sea and rose to Heaven. I enjoyed this scene only while our sister Marisa saw, as Jacob did, the angels going up and down the ladder, bringing from Earth an immense multitude of souls to Heaven.
The interpretation of this scene was unveiled by the Mother of the Eucharist, but the meaning was to remain secret until I felt the urge to communicate.
Our Lady had revealed that this vision was the result of all the spiritual work that Marisa and I would have realized if we had faithfully followed the will of God. A great multitude of souls would have been saved through our commitment, suffering, immolation and prayer.
Do not ask why all this was only disclosed today: God does what He wants. Probably He wanted us to understand the importance of the big work done thanks also to your help, for all you have prayed and participated in Eucharistic adorations and H. Masses for the conversion of souls. Encouraged by the approval coming from high above, I can say that the multitude of people actually represented, in advance of 20 years, what would have happened over time, namely, the conversion of three and a half billion souls, as announced on June 29, 2002.
This is the plan of God and it is the spiritual reality on which I invite you to meditate and ponder.
Even in the second reading we find references to our history. In fact, in October 1971, Our Lady announced that our sister would have died on December 8 in that year, disproving what was previously said with respect to the mission that Marisa and I had to fulfill for the Church.
Then we were put to test even more because, after this announcement, came the order to buy some clothes for winter. Any person would have wondered about this expenditure, knowing that she would have died quite shortly. This hard test was over on a Sunday prior to December 8, when the Mother of the Eucharist suggested the reading of this passage from St. Paul. This passage, after many years, acquires a different meaning compared to 1971. Indeed, a few facts are really understood only when they do happen.
"It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice" (Phil 1:15-18). In this passage there is a clear reference to our experience: the Triumph of the Eucharist. God's enemies have been forced to preach the Eucharist with enthusiasm and this is His masterpiece. We too, same as St. Paul, proclaim that it does not matter if those who do not believe in the Eucharist have encouraged others to believe, but what counts is that the Eucharist is proclaimed, preached, known and loved.
"... but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body" (Phil 1:20-24). Thirty-eight years ago, while pondering the last words of this passage, we were not sure which was the best choice; today, instead, it is legitimate to prefer to be reunited with Christ. St. Paul expressed the same desire in his second letter to Timothy: "For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing" (2 Tim 4:6-8).
The Word of God proclaimed in the Gospel is enlightening and very relevant to our experience.
At that time Jesus said: "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Mt 11:25-30).
In this hymn of praise, Jesus thanks the Father, for He revealed great and wonderful things to the little ones. In the Church History, God used the little ones, not only regarding spiritual realities such as mystical gifts or apparitions, but also with regard to the social field. Catherine of Siena, for example, convinced the popes residing in Avignon to come back to Rome for good. This action was, in some way, suggested and implemented with the grace and assistance of God.
The sentence: "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son" means that there is union and communion between the Father and the Son: what belongs to the Father, belongs to the Son and the Holy Spirit. Recently we have been accused of being heretics and schismatics, but we have proclaimed a truth present in the Church. They wrote that it is heretical to sustain the presence of the Father and the Holy Spirit in the Eucharist, beyond the presence of the Son. They have shown utter ignorance or surprising wickedness because the Church in the Fifth Lateran Council, year 1215, has established that where there is the Father, there are also the Son and the Holy Spirit, where there is the Son, there are also the Father and the Holy Spirit, and where there is the Holy Spirit, there are also the Father and the Son. Hence the heretics are those people who, out of ignorance or because of their stand, fight the doctrine of the Church, confirmed by private revelations.
Today, fighting is very difficult and exhausting. Jesus himself spoke of it in today's Gospel: He is inviting those who are weary and burdened to come to Him.
The leaders of the multitude of oppressed and worn out are, for the time being, the Bishop of the Eucharist and the Victim of the Eucharist. There is no one more fatigued and oppressed than us and it has been written and documented. Faced with this exhausting situation, the Lord's invitation is to bear the burden He is giving us because if God asks for some special tests or assignments, He also conveys the necessary strength to support them.
The tiredness we feel and you are aware of it, is not coming from the fatigue of carrying out the mission, but by the wickedness and opposition of men, often holders of high office within the church hierarchy, who have continually worked against us. In this sense Jesus says that the burden He is giving is sweet, while the burden inflicted by men is exhausting and tiring.
There is nothing more to do than pleading with God to realize his plans before human fatigue takes hold of us completely. You also know that nothing will happen until the one that God has called to the difficult mission of suffering has reached the Heaven. Thereafter things so great will come and the song "Unwavering is my heart" is a clear indication of what will come and affect all of us.