Homily of H.E. Mons. Claudio Gatti of October 21, 2007
1st reading: Ex 17:8-13; Psalm 120; 2nd reading: 2 Tim 3:14-17, 4:1-2; Gospel: Lk 18:1-8
The wonderful parables recounted by Jesus are perfect from an educational point of view and have a purpose. To understand a parable, we must examine it globally, consider the overall concept and not in a segmented manner; a parable is a story referring to events taken from reality, while a tale recounts facts about imagination. The parable of the unjust judge, present in today's Gospel, wants us to understand that we must pray unceasingly, without ever getting tired.
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually come and attack me!'" And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" (Lk 18:1-8).
In the passage we just read there is also a perfect harmony between private and public revelation: I think that in any Letter of God is present, once at least, the invitation to prayer. The teachings coming from Our Lady are identical to those from Christ, therefore, we cannot, nor we should keep them to ourselves, but rather disclose them to all men. Today, however, for a number of considerations, I believe that this parable can be applied to our situation and in particular to me. The dishonest judge is representing the judges, they too are dishonest, who have condemned me. Two thousand years later, there are still wicked judges who fear not God and have no interest in people; however, the judge in the parable, in a sense, is better than today's judges because eventually he does justice to the widow, even if it is for a human reason, so he is no longer bothered. Today's courts are not interested in pursuing justice; they should live their role in the best way, the most right way, because they're part of the New Testament and as God's ministers they have the gift to participate in the priesthood of Christ. Today's judges are not interested in justice, they feel almost omnipotent, they think to be independent from God, and this is a blasphemy that I am not the one to utter, but they themselves, as they go in the opposite direction to the way indicated by our Lord.
In this situation we must once again prove our confidence, hope and faith in God. Our Lord made us many promises, he has repeated them many times and after several years they have not come to fruition. How could we read the following expression? "And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly" (Lk 18:7-8). Specifically, how could we construe the time adverb "quickly"? many times the Mother of the Eucharist, Jesus and Daddy God have explained it, and even today, ahead of Our Lady's speech, Daddy God manifested, and graciously made it clear again, with patience and respect, the meaning of expressions "soon", "quickly and promptly". From a rational point of view we know that "soon", according to God, is not like the human "soon", but we have to understand it at the level of faith and abandonment; we must make an effort on a level of complete adherence to the divine plan, even if often it would seem they are against us, and especially against the promises of God. Today, in fact, God's enemies are triumphing while our friends pay, the most powerful shepherds are numbered among the mercenaries and the honest shepherds must submit to the abuse of powerful mercenaries.
Although the surrounding reality reminds us of this sad situation, we, helped by God's grace, comforted by His Word and enlightened by the Holy Spirit, say: "My God, I rely on you" even if it is costing us, is tearing us apart and is making us sick. For you it is much easier, none of you can say to be in a situation to be a hero, nor you must expect immediate feedback from God. You know that my talk is frank and sincere. The Bishop and Seer have more right than you to see the promises of God coming to fruition. Then your task is to forget your little needs and your pretensions and pray, pleading with God unceasingly, as in the parable of the Gospel, for those who have a lot more right than you have. You can and must do all this, it is what God and Our Lady are asking you, and it is what I beg you to do day after day.
Let's talk about the wonderful excerpt from the Second Letter of St. Paul to Timothy. You know how much love, fondness and tenderness Paul had for his disciples, for those people whom he led to Christ, on whom he laid his hands to ordain them Bishops. Timothy is one of these. What Paul says in the mentioned passage must absolutely be respected and accepted by all those who, like Timothy, have the fullness of priesthood, that is, by all bishops.
"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction" (2 Tim 3:14-17, 4:1-2).
Paul's words: "servant of God" shed light on the very status of a bishop. The bishop is the one who with teachings, words, examples and testimony must lead to God the faithful entrusted to him. With more force than a priest, the bishop must feel he is God's property, for he belongs to Him even more so; this is the meaning of the expression "servant of God" which designates the property, where he belongs to.
Paul urges us to be thoroughly familiar with the Word of God, the Word that He taught and that Timothy, in turn, must announce to Christians, to faithful, to men to whom he is addressing directly as Paul's correspondent and indirectly as sent by God. Preaching is not always easy and that is why Paul is using strong and courageous words: "Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction" (2 Tim 4:2). This passage applies also to you lay people because what Paul urges Timothy to do in respect of communities, you must do the same for the community members, your family and the people to whom you are bound by affection, friendship and kinship.
The term "In season and out of season", means that we have to address people both in a good, nice, peaceful and happy manner, and in a strong manner to correct and rebuke, but everything must be done with love. He, who in the face of a failure of a family member, would refrain from intervening not only is doing wrong, but is showing no love for this member. If a father, mother, husband, wife, or even a son would refrain from intervening, who can help?
Ponder on these responsibilities and in this way you will be able to discover within yourself also the sins of omission.
The sin of omission is not to intervene in the case of a failure. You must give a proof of your love even with a reprimand, even if you are in an inconvenient or difficult situation; the good must always be pursued. We have a duty to put our brother back on the good track. In this context, the reproaches that recently have been directed to us from above are more understandable. You, as the Mother of the Eucharist told us, are pretending that God hasten to accomplish His work. I use, instead, a Roman expression which is clearer: you want God "to make it snappy", but so far what have you given to God? You have prayed, most of you pray a lot, but it is not enough. Prayer can also be a time you are waiting for, a beautiful meeting to be in sweet company with our Lord, but more than prayer there is the word and the action.
I have not always been gentle with you, I made some comments or I gave you fatherly or brotherly rebukes that, at times, have not been accepted and welcomed with pleasure, but if I had not, I would have shown no love for you.
I have said many times that I will not spend even one single day in Purgatory because of you, by committing sins of omission and not telling you what was my duty to tell you; I yearn to go to Heaven as soon as possible and I strongly want that you too, before or after me, may enjoy the joy of Heaven. Then I put into practice the teaching of Paul: in season and out of season; when, according to your opinion, I was occasionally inappropriate, I am comforted by the certainty that I was never inappropriate for God, in fact I was encouraged by him and by Our Lady to continue to behave in this manner.
The Mother of the Eucharist revealed to me: "My son, you've never got to the severity of My Son", which means that I still have big gaps to exercise my affection for you, so that I may leave my mark on you. You should thank for these signs, you should be proud because they are in the arms of God and under the motherly mantle of Our Lady. Everything and always to the praise and glory of Daddy God, Brother God, Friend God, the One and Triune God, before whom we bow our heads in worship and as a sign of submission.
Praised be Jesus Christ.