Homily of H.E. Mons. Claudio Gatti of December 31, 2007
1st Reading: 1 Jn 2:18-21; Psalm 95; Gospel: Jn 1:1-18
In this day of the year where, according to Catholic and Christian tradition, communities and individuals should turn to God and thank him for the past year, I too feel I must thank the Lord despite the months of 2007 have been tiring, hard and full of suffering.
The first reason is concerned with Yari. If it were not for the intervention of God, today we would be even more tense, worried and saddened than we currently are.
I think you would detach from this analysis that I have done for us. For you, these months were not so hard, as they were for us, indeed, many of you have spent a year for which must thank God.
In particular, I cannot list them all, I am reminded of the accident incurred by Paola following a fall, last summer; it could have had very serious consequences, for she could have been left paralyzed, or a fatal outcome, then she has reason to thank.
Mr and Ms Piccinini have a double great reason to thank the Lord: they married and soon Adrian will be born. The others have their own reasons to thank God.
But I do not wish to speak again about 2007, for I prefer to entrust it to God's mercy.
I want to talk about 2008 because it is the Year of Hope and I believe that we, more than others, have the right to enjoy the hope that something will occur in this year just started, so that our life may become less dramatic, less heavy and less harsh. We have the right to expect this to happen and that's why before giving you my wish, and mine is not selfishness, I would like to wish the two of us, who more than you have the right to wait for something good.
If 2008 were to end as 2007 it will be because God wanted this, but for us it would be really hard and heavy. If it is true that prayers can avoid wars or limit earthquakes, it is also true, as at the wedding at Cana and in the Cenacle, that they may also anticipate actions and interventions of God. If you read carefully the letters of God of these last months or even years, the most frequent exhortation that comes to us is just "Pray, pray, pray", for only in this way we can carry on the difficult and painful task God has entrusted us with. Sometimes, believe me, it is tempting to avoid this burden.
I say it again, many of you have reason to rejoice and I wish you to be able to always rejoice, and if on the one hand it is good, on the other I think it will prevent you from entirely understand the harshness of this 2007.
This talk concerns you all; in fact, I believe that no one has entirely understood our suffering. I'm talking with respect, not in a polemic spirit. You come here, feel something, and then go back to your homes. You too have your problems, some more, some less, but you do not live ours.
That is why today it is your duty to thank God for you and your families, but it is also your duty to begin a campaign of constant prayer for the Bishop and the Seer, so that we may feel, somehow, helped and supported.
And now let us dive in the understanding of today’s Holy Scripture.
Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. (1 Jn 2:18-21)
The first reading, taken from the First Letter of St. John, thus begins: "This is the last hour". This expression must be understood as the last period of history, although it will be very long because with the coming of Christ, you know, started the last time. Even if it were to continue for many centuries, what counts is the adjective "last". I, slyly and so interested, would attribute it to 2007. This is the last year and, I say it again, it is not an abuse to say these things because it is my heart asking it. I know, and you too know it that when I will start sweeping and cleaning, we will experience moments just as hard and difficult because before you get to the cleaning the last blow of the devil will produce what John showed: the antichrists. John the Evangelist was referring to an antichrist to be understood in an antithetical sense, opposing Christ in doctrine and morals; today we are forced to face even more dangerous antichrists, for they are cloaked with offices and titles, some of them even have the fullness of priesthood through the episcopate.
In this reality it is much more difficult to erect and fight against these opponents of Christ because they are followed by millions of people who, innocently, unconsciously and not knowing who they are and believing they are different from what they really are, take them as a reference point. This means that Satan, as it has been said at Fatima, will march in the front rows of the Church; Paul VI said it again: "The smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God, the house of God" and I think that also the Mother of the Eucharist said it to us.
So this time of confusion has to occur. But how do we win the darkness? With the light, with the headlights. If a person drives a car in the darkness without headlights he will crash against obstacles or falls in precipices. In this case, simply turn on the headlights. As far as we human beings are concerned the light is within us, in our soul. The more light we have within us, the more we see, the more we can move forward with confidence and better perceive the finishing line.
When there is no light, the finishing line can even be quite close but we do not see, it appears to us very far away.
That's why my wish to you is that you may never lose the light but may you be living lamps before God, to light the way, the path and the road, even for those people who sometimes, without being fully conscious, have become blind and devoid of light.