Text of the Eucharistic adoration of June 29, 2013<
Feast of Triumph of the Eucharist
14th anniversary of the Episcopal ordination of H. E. Mons. Claudio Gatti
From the second letter to the Corinthians (4:7-18)
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken". Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal".
This year, during worship, we wanted to focus on S. Paul, specifically on the second letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.
In the latter years of bible classes, the Bishop was engaged in the comments of some letters from St. Paul and has repeatedly pointed out the apostolic zeal that he put in talking about Jesus to make Him known in the various places where his mission took him. While reading the passage you will find that the letter is as timely as ever, and the preaching of St. Paul is common to the Bishop's preaching and the same applies to some aspects of their lives; in God's letter dated 29 June 2008 St. Peter and St. Paul are addressing the Bishop with these words:
St. Peter - I am Peter, I suffered so much, I've seen all kinds of mischief. I got sufferings from both my friends and my enemies, but I fought and gained victory. Excellency, fight, even if you already gained the victory. Do not look at the many people going here and there, look at your little Cenacle. I am with you.
St. Paul - So do I, Paul, after having treated badly Christ and Christians, in turn, I was treated badly, as Peter was, from friends and enemies, but Jesus was with us. We are with you, and you know it.
When you talk to the souls and are getting ready, for you respect them, our Jesus speaks in you. You utter such great words that are very close to those that Jesus says to you during conversations by the Jordan river.
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us". (2 Cor 4:7)
This statement is very realistic and it is showing in the events of our community along these years; our Lord has entrusted two simple creatures, small and humble in the eyes of men, but great in the eyes of God, the greatest mission, to revive Church. The struggle against the Church powerful men who tried in every way to hinder the Bishop and the Seer, saw the small but strong and courageous David fight the giant Goliath and gain victory. We are not talking of a human victory, but one conforming to the plans and will of God. Today, June 29, 2013, we can say we see the fruits of so much spiritual work accomplished by Don Claudio and Marisa over 38 years of suffering, immolation, sacrifice and love. More and more we have Eucharistic adorations in the churches, we talk a lot more of Jesus the Eucharist, and at last we have a Pope whose teachings were given to us by God in advance, through his letters and his two children, during all these years. In addition do not forget our wonderful community that despite many vicissitudes is still here, in prayer and meditation, to give its own contribution to the rebirth of the Church.
Today, before our eyes, on this celebrating altar, we have the greatest treasure God could give us: 6 out of 185 Eucharistic miracles, some with blood outpouring. Jesus the Eucharist is present in body, blood, soul and divinity; Christ's passion, death and resurrection are here, in this thaumaturgic place, guarded by us, poor creatures, just as weak and fragile as clay pots.
We have been taught the importance of Eucharist in Christian life and especially in our daily meetings because it gives us the strength to go on. The life of grace which allowed St. Paul and St. Peter to spread the Church of Christ through their blood will be the same that will prevent all of us from falling. Then we are these earthen vessels that can break and for this we must have the utmost care. Obviously the best cure is a life of grace. How many words both the Bishop and the Mother of the Eucharist have given us on the importance of a life of grace, on leaving no open slot where the devil may sneak in. He and his followers are always ready to ruin, prevent or hinder the works of God, but we have to be quicker than he is: we have been given all the tools to fight him and we pray our Lord to give us always the necessary strength.
Lord, now to your eyes we are thin and frail vessels made of clay, but we are committed to become beautiful porcelain vessels, more beautiful and precious porcelain as a capodimonte that so much Marisa loved or very pure crystal vessels worthy of guarding the most important treasure: Your Son Jesus.
"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed". (2 Cor 4:8-9)
Our community has met with many ordeals most of which were collected and narrated by our Bishop in the introduction to the messages books. Unique experiences and spiritual gifts took turn to events that have put us to hard test and Paul's words are resounding on us like an echo from a distance of 2000 years. Here it is the Word of God always current and applicable to modern times, as in the days gone by. Surely at the news of Marisa's and Bishop death the high prelates have breathed a sigh of relief because no more there was the disturbing element jeopardizing their reputation, but it is written everything down on paper and we are still here as stricken witnesses, but not killed.
The adverse events of which not everybody in the community is aware, continue, but let's take the example from our spiritual director and ask you, O Lord, the strength to face all those situations where we feel lost and alone, without the Bishop's help and support and without Marisa's reassuring smile.
"We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you". (2 Cor 4:10-12)
God does not eliminate suffering and death, he is sharing it with us by giving us his Son who died in order to open the gates of Heaven. In this way he is changing it into its opposite, i.e. in life. The dark mystery of death is illuminated by resurrection, Jesus' new and eternal life, which is today progressively manifested in the lives of believers. It is a way of life experienced in faith. How many of us at the Bishop's death have thought: "Here it's all over!" and instead in Heaven they had a great feast. In fact, in the letter of God of June 29, 2009 Jesus said: "Great feast, feast of love, peace, royalty which will triumph in this Church. When everything will triumph and the new Church will be reborn, the Bishop will begin to work in the new Church". Don't you think he is doing enough work? In the words of the new Pope don't you hear things already heard?
Lord, make us grow in the virtue of faith, only in this way we can fully live our apostolate and even if we do not understand your plan may we never fail to respect your works. At times we feel as we were walking blindfolded, but we must be certain that the ground beneath our feet would never turn into dangerous ravines.
However, we are enlivened by the same spirit of faith as it is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken. Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God". (2 Cor 4:13-15)
The name of our community is Commitment and Testimony and definitely it is not by chance. As St. Paul and St. Peter could not remain silent to the world on the teachings of Christ and preached, we too as we have heard, seen and believed, we must give our testimony to the whole world. We must never get tired to work for our Lord because only through our sacrifice we can bring more souls to God and the more we bring to God, the greater will be our reward in Heaven. Let's imagine when, God willing, we will meet Bishop and Marisa in Heaven and with a smile they will say: "Hello my son, we have been waiting for you. It was hard but you did it. Come with us to the Father and you will understand everything". Our work must not be for our small backyard only, this is not what we have been taught, it must be for all the people with whom we come across. Do you remember when Our Lady told the Bishop that a priest must consume himself for the souls? Don't we want to follow our Bishop on this path? Of course, considering a different commitment as lay people and with a family vocation.
Lord, may we never forget how Our Lady used to call us: "Little apostles" and may we always keep in mind our duties toward our community and toward other people who are eager to learn about these works of God. Our holiness and our example may be the driving force bringing many people to Christ.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal". (2 Cor 4:16-18)
Today, our society always offers us models going against the flow of time and only related to the outward appearance. We should not worry about our aging body, but about the health of our soul. Every day we must grow in holiness, always one step forward, never backward, as the Mother of the Eucharist reminded us many times. Here we see a great encouragement for the elderly people of our community so they may not let go crushed by the weight of moral and physical sufferings. If we offer everything to our Lord, every single moment of our suffering, we will give that great contribution our Christ is asking each of us chosen from billions of people. Do you remember how much love and thanks Our Lady used to express for grandmother Iolanda? Yet, she spent her days in her bed, or, when she was able to, in the kitchen to prepare something good for her Bishop, the Excellency. Because of the love that grandmother Iolanda would put in all this, the rosaries that she would say every day in that bed of pain, she supported Don Claudio's and Marisa mission, bringing benefit to the whole Church.
Let us not be discouraged, let us hold on, the rebirth of the Church is taking place, slowly, with the contribution of each of us, and if any of us will not enjoy this rebirth on Earth, we offer everything to our Lord as a contribution to the atonement for our sins that will be deleted, God willing, by His mercy. All praise to the glory of God, our Father Almighty.