Text of the Eucharistic adoration of June 29, 2014
Feast of the Triumph of the Eucharist and of the episcopal ordination of H.E. Mons. Claudio Gatti
Before starting the adoration before Jesus the Eucharist, we want to apologize to the man who was our spiritual director, Msgr. Claudio Gatti, for choosing to comment on the Word of God. It is certainly not an attempt to imitate him as we are very away from his preparation, his spirituality, and we certainly have not his inspirations. We apologize if we will repeat some concepts on the figure of the Bishop that we have pointed out several times already. But who is here today is definitely meek and humble of heart, and anyway will enjoy hearing about our beloved Bishop.
Today we just want to try to offer some reflections on the passages we have chosen for this day of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. We really miss the bible classes and we miss a lot his life lessons that took inspiration from the Gospel or the Bible. Then let us pray together to Jesus the Eucharist so that in this day we may make ours the Lord's Word and keep it in mind in every action, thought, work, and above all that this great gift may be to our brother's help and may be preserved in the grace of God.
From the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 20:28-38)
In those days, Paul said to the elders of the Church of Ephesus: "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
I have not coveted anyone's silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive'".
When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.
The Gospel of the Word
For those who have been attending this community for years, this passage from the Acts of the Apostles would need no comment. Every single word that Paul uttered might be perfectly attributed to our dear Bishop. They are parting words full of love for our brothers and sisters who sustained him. He does not deny that he had admonished each of them, just as our Bishop did with us. He never spared to make us observe things, in spite of the heavy burden he carried over his shoulder every day. It was his task, his mission, to let us take note where we were wrong, for his ultimate goal was to get us to holiness, and it did not matter whether he was tired or full of thoughts, he had to proclaim the truth at all costs, regardless of the consequences and the pain in his heart. Of course, in this way, he made many enemies, but he would not care and would tell us, jokingly, that he would never do an hour in Purgatory for not having thoroughly done a brotherly reproach.
Msgr. Claudio, like Paul, wanted neither silver nor gold nor anyone's clothing. What he was craving for was a comforting word from the Mother of the Eucharist, she only was able to comfort him and give him the strength to go forward in his difficult mission. He wished the little chapel to be full so he could reveal to more souls the love for God and Jesus the Eucharist. He also took care of the need of others and always urged us to take care of the needs of sick people, elderly and children. So Msgr. Claudio too made his own the words of Jesus: "It is more blessed to give than to receive".
This is his legacy, and it is a legacy that has no equal. We, as Paul says at the beginning of his speech, are now guardians, not of the Church, for it would be too presumptuous, but at least of this thaumaturgic place that saw a succession of many Eucharistic miracles. Gifts that even today we have before our eyes and adore them.
Unlike the community in Ephesus, our Bishop never officially took leave of us, perhaps because he did not have the opportunity or because it was God's will. But in a sense it is as if it were not necessary, because he is always here in this thaumaturgic place and is helping us all in the most appropriate way to God.
From the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians (Eph 4:7, 11-15)
"Brothers, to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ".
The Gospel of the Word
The gift of episcopacy that Jesus gave to Msgr. Claudio has been the most criticized event in the history of this community. It is enough to perhaps reflect on this letter to understand the ultimate aim of God, that is, as Paul says, the unity of faith and the knowledge of the Son of God so that we may attain the state of a perfect man.
In this passage the state of grace is also mentioned: "The grace has been given as Christ apportioned it". Grace means the full participation in the life of God, makes us partakers of the Trinitarian life. Literary translation is the "favor", the "aid" that God gives us to respond to his call.
Then the state of grace allows us to draw spiritually near to God and freely to the sacraments that He has given us. Man is left to his free will to participate or not to the grace of God and the moment when he expresses his will, God will accept him without any restriction.
The grace and St. Peter:
When God sends the Spirit comforter to Mary and the Apostles gathered in the Upper Room, everything takes on a different look. The apostle Peter, weak and lame (remember his denial before the guards who wanted to arrest Jesus' followers) gives way to the brave and strong apostle, able to sacrifice himself to martyrdom in the name of Christ. Jesus Christ entrusted Peter and the other apostles with the very important mission to spread the Church of Christ in the world and only through the sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit, giver of graces, this was possible. The first Pope of the Catholic Church has gone from denial to martyrdom through the grace of our Lord.
The grace and St. Paul
Paul, just like Peter but in different ways, literally flipped his own spiritual life: from a persecutor he became a martyr for the Church of Christ. In this situation, we notice some differences compared to St. Peter; In fact, Paul was persecuting Jesus' followers because he had been educated in this way, and basically because he really did not know Christ. But when Christ appeared to him asking his life in the name of God, he, after what he had seen and heard, according to his own will, as it was shown to him by Ananias, asks the Lord to be forgiven and, once converted, devoted all of himself to the mission that God had entrusted him with.
The grace and Mons. Claudio
The grace played a key role in the life of our Bishop. We all know what he had to endure, both in assisting our dear sister Marisa in her journey of passion and suffering for Christ, and in the bitter struggle against the men of the Church who tried in every way to hinder God's interventions. The grace that Msgr. Claudio had been always nurturing through a priesthood of dedication and sacrifice was filled with more gifts through the Episcopacy, just to support the weight of a heavy and painful cross.
The grace and Marisa
Marisa's life was a succession of pain and suffering, mental and physical. She dedicated her life for the salvation of souls, with a work done in total concealment. The gift she was given, clairvoyance, was rewarded with a state of grace that reached some highest levels just to support so much suffering.
In the life of each of us, the grace of God we have freely kept is performing an ongoing work to make us perfect. In fact, in the spiritual path we are taking, our spiritual growth is related to the growth in a life of grace, a crescendo that does not even stop in Paradise. How many times did Marisa tell us that she sees the souls of Heaven more and more beautiful as time goes on? This is because the path to holiness is never-ending, because holiness is living in close union with God, who, being infinite, cannot be reached. From here it follows that the grace is an endless journey towards God.
How can we keep the grace within us? With prayer, the Word of God, big or small sacrifices, the daily communion with God through the Eucharist and, when necessary, through the sacrament of Confession.
Lord, You have chosen Your servants assigning each of them their own task, filling them with the grace necessary to do it. You have chosen each one of us, not for our edification, but for the growth of us all so we may be free in Christ.
In this day of celebration, we want to thank you Lord for giving us the grace and by visiting this place, we are committing ourselves to keep it alive so that we may carry out our small and humble mission here on Earth. The difficulties that life offers us are so many; today's society makes it all the more difficult and we are like lilies in the midst of so much mud. To try to bring other souls to You becomes an ever increasingly difficult task, especially among young people because they may run the risk of being alone and forsaken.
We pray to you Lord, for us extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, in our fourteenth year of ministry, for You burdened us with an additional task: to bring Christ to the needy. We never thought about this, but today, if Msgr. Claudio would have not ordained us ministers, how could we be here before You and worship You, truly present in Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity?
Today we thank You for all these gifts, the Eucharistic miracles, source of joy and grace for us all. Thank You also for giving us Bishop and Marisa, the one pastor and prophet, the other mystical soul intimately united with God because their teachings and their example taught us how to be a true Christian: we have known the Word of God, learning what must be the attitude of the clergy and what are our responsibilities as believers and committed laity. We learned above all that the Church belongs to God, not to men, an instrument which God could do without but, in his infinite goodness, grants them the opportunity to reach holiness.
Thank you Lord for giving us spiritual freedom.