Homily of H.E. Mons. Claudio Gatti of December 1, 2007
1st reading: Dan 7:15-27; Psalm: Dan 3; Gospel: Lk 2:34-36
Today, many of you have tasted for the first time the same familiarity and friendliness that Our Lady has shown in the past when she appeared to Marisa. The apparitions took place more or less in this way and they were lovely, friendly and free, both from Our Lady and those who attended. In some of these apparitions, the former young people will remember, Our Lady even allowed them to ask questions to which she then replied.
Those appearances were then terminated, because the answer was not very exciting; they could have been experienced in that nice way by the adults, but this did not happened because, unfortunately, the situation did not allow it. We were wrong several times, both the former young people and adults, and it was sad to see that Our Lady was forced to carry out the task of a teacher reprimanding us, for which she was the first to suffer.
Now it is up to each of us to be able to maintain the familiar tone that today Our Lady has had with us and in order to do that there is only one condition to be met: love. We must love each other, be honest with each other without talking or gossiping behind, do not create small closed groups but have an open look and a friendly face for everybody. If our community will respond in this way, then we will still enjoy other friendly moments as today's.
In a world looking more and more selfish and intolerant, to give a little warmth means to improve it, and the wish we should ask each other is just that: to leave a better world than the one we were born. This improvement depends not only upon the others but upon all of us too. The commitment of even one individual in a family, in a community, in the Church or in the world, before God is a precious commodity falling again for everybody's benefit. I would really like us to live well as in the latter period, where, I hope, we will still be in Our Lady's company: you know that with Marisa's death the apparitions, the letters of God and the lovingly talks will be over but the presence of Our Lady will not end.
You will experience longing, as you certainly have about the Eucharistic miracles, but there is a thought that should give you joy and consolation, to resume these talks one day in Heaven.
I do not know if you think of Heaven, or if that thought scares you because, it is logical, we must cross a door where it is written "death". But we must not be afraid to go over it, instead we must have the certainty and confidence that once we go over that door, we will go forward to a wonderful reality, impossible to describe, except to those who have had the good fortune to experience it. Through prayer we are longing for Heaven, then let us pray with our heart; we must not think about the time of our death, but we must be propelled into eternity and see everything in God's light. All little squabbles, lies, the petty lack of charity and also touchiness, are worth nothing, it is all nonsense in comparison to eternity: we have a wonderful program that we can and must enjoy.
You will remember that Mary, more than once, quoted Dante by repeating: "Let us not speak of them, but look, and pass"; this means that you have to get almost to see the evil addressed to us with a sense of detachment because we have to be immersed in God. I am reminded of Manzoni's words addressed to the plague-spreaders who were trying to spread the infection during the Milan plague to take possession of the assets of the stricken people: "It won't be you, poor spreaders, who will destroy Milan"; Well, it won't be these poor "little nobody" who will destroy the Church, even if they are so powerful.
In the readings of a few days ago, we found the interpretation of the dream of Prophet Daniel, where to topple a huge statue that had feet of iron and clay was sufficient a blow from a small stone which became an enormous rock. Here, we are right in this situation; let's all of us stay on the balcony and wait for God the Father to throw these stones that will hit, one by one, the various characters. You will also recall another expression uttered by the Mother of the Eucharist: "And they shall fall like ninepins". Everything comes together, everything except our mosaic that continues to lose pieces. (The mosaic present in our chapel behind the altar. Ed. note) I take this hint to ask you to repair as soon as all these holes. By December 8, make this tribute to Our Lady by repairing the mosaic.
Let us try to to live in a brotherly way, trying to be ready to stretch our gaze away from home; we have to be like those concentric circles where the bigger ones embrace the smaller ones and charity must begin from the center, where we should be placed, not because we have to stand out from the others, but because everybody should highlight their own responsibility. Imagine being at the center of one of the circles and begin to think that if a brother or sister who is a part of the community or group of friends has problems or difficulties, we must try to intervene.
Thank you in advance for the gift that you wanted to give me and I ask you, as you did last year, to raise the money that will be donated to help children from different continents and from different nations living in dramatic situations. I would like to have Bill Gates' economic means or whoever has exceeded his wealth, not out of envy, but because their means may really wipe away so many tears of mothers, elderly and children.
I wish I could also have available St. Peter's treasure that could be donated to alleviate the suffering of so many people. God will be extremely strict and inflexible with people, especially with members of the clergy, who thought only to have more wealth for themselves or their relatives, but have not thought for others.
Padre Pio had a vision concerning the conditions of priests, and you know that when we speak of priests we mean all of them, from those on top to the smallest; the saint saw Jesus with a suffering face, and turning to these priests called them "butchers".
Pius XII, who loved and protected Padre Pio said: "Many people who had been condemned by the Holy Office, by the ecclesiastical authority, afterwards were declared saints by the Church". See how judgments are reversed, the ecclesiastical authorities give a sentence first, and then place on the altar, overpraise, worship, pray and plead with them who were condemned by their predecessors. I do not think it is hard to see the similarities; I am telling you this not to exalt someone, but to push you to see the reality through the eyes of God.
God is eternal and works in eternity, we instead, men on earth, live a span of time that is more or less long, during which we worry so much to be even an element of disturbance to those around us. If everyone will remain peaceful, serene and quiet in their own space, in their own life, they would not make others suffer and all that is in the light of God. Who are the blind people? They are the people seeking the light of men, but you know that at times the sun's rays cannot penetrate the fog or other obstacles, thus accidents occur; instead the light of God penetrates everything and gets anywhere, no one can escape God's judgment.
Adam and the sin committed by Eve, Cain and all the many "Cains" in history, thought they could get away with it, but you cannot get away from God. That's why I say to myself, and to each of you, to look and entrust God even when we are in difficulties, problems and feel weary. If we want to complain we can do it with God, He is our dad. I think I can say that the person with whom I am complaining most is just Him. After I did it I felt free, the weight on my heart was no longer there because I had turned to God: I told Him everything I had inside, even though He already knew everything. I had to vent and He allowed me to do so. It's wonderful, it is fatherly this attitude of God who is there to listen. Sometimes, especially at times when He is showing and only a few of us or even just me and Marisa are present, you should know how patiently He is listening to me, He does not reply until I am over with it, He does not stop me and He is even joking.
So let us take God as an example because sometimes we are intolerant to each other, we do not listen to others and show uneasiness, discomfort and irritation if they try to talk to us. Instead look how much patience God has, what good example He gives us. That's why time seems to stop when we start talking about God and Our Lady. I am speaking to you with my heart in my hand, I was going to tell you other things, but I thought proper to tell you this.
Then I invite you to transform our community into a community of love where there is honesty, dialogue and attention. This evening I felt the need to tell you these things and I think it is your duty and a testimony of love to report to the people not present what I have told you; to keep it to yourselves would be a manifestation of selfishness. If you have understood, if you were delighted, if you have enjoyed, then let the others enjoy as well.