Homily of H.E. Mons. Claudio Gatti of September 3, 2006
12th SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B)
1st reading: Dt 4:1-2, 6-8; Psalm 14; 2nd reading: James 1:17-18, 21-22, 27; Gospel: Mk 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
I will make a brief homily, because, believe me, I am making a big effort, although for me is easy enough to speak, but the effort arises from reasons and factors outside the homily itself.
First of all, I ask you for an act of charity, responding to yesterday's concerns of the Mother of the Eucharist: Offer this holy Mass to God solely for the Bishop and the Seer.
Ours is certainly the toughest, hardest and most difficult mission and for this we need to be helped, sustained and even relieved, as far as possible, from some burdens and some problems. The year just passed was also difficult for you because the pastor's continued presence was lacking. I tried to be present but, unfortunately, contingent situations prevented me. I remember having promised it to Our Lady during a talk, she applauded and approved, but due to special situations and changes that occurred, I could no longer attend to what was promised, except for a short period of time, then, unfortunately, I was absorbed elsewhere.
Everything starts from God and certainly this too. The Lord cannot ask anyone the impossible and to us neither. But it is logical that if God promises, on the one hand, to help us, on the other hand, you must be with me, with prayers, reminding God of the commitment I have taken. "Help these poor children" was also the prayer with which Our Lady and grandmother Iolanda turned often to God, prostrate at His presence; "God, help these poor children", so they said, full of love, solicitude, and compassion. You, Marisa, have often witnessed scenes where these two creatures, even Our Lady is a creature, how high she may be, worship before God, pleading for us. At the moment we are more or less in the same situation, perhaps even worse, humanly speaking, since we are as wrapped in a fog and the landscape that was first clear has vanished. We go ahead groping, touching and seeking, for it seems that this fog will lift only by the exclusive presence of the Eucharist. The sun will come and clear the fog, and then each of us will see the path we walked, the path we went, the goals we achieved, the program we did. For now, believe me, I, at least, feel in this situation and I believe you too, Marisa, with so many unanswered questions, so many unanswered requests; often we heard the recurring refrain: "God knows what He is doing, trust God, entrust yourselves to God". I can say, and here is also Our Lady testifying it, that in thirty-five years we have always been obedient and docile. We are still told: "Be faithful to God" when we have always been. Dear Our Lady, excuse me if I tell you, but we also did it by exposing ourselves to very strong situations. Probably not even you, dear Mother, know God’s entire plan, this is what I think, at least. I hear many times that you are near, you are on our side, but in the face of the divine will every creature stops, bows his head and utters his "Fiat". You uttered it on the day of the Annunciation, you uttered it at the time of conception, in the years of childhood, in your adolescence, you uttered it when Jesus started His Passion when He was on the cross and when He ascended to Heaven. You have enriched your life with a “Fiat” much more generous than mine because you, full of grace, were able to react in the best way: in fact, having more grace, you could take difficult and impossible decisions, humanly unattainable. Instead, we need your help (the bishop is addressing the community, editor’s note).
You will certainly remember a sentence that was epoch-making at that time, then, slowly, was forgotten: "Fly wing to wing". Probably a few contacts were lost because, instead of being a single squadron, I saw sometimes small knots of people darting in the sky, three or four on one side, two or three on the other, four or five on yet another. Try to reshape the squadron, to be really in touch, do not be strangers to each other. Some of you do not know each other even if they have been in this place for some time or have just a superficial knowledge of each other. Try to be open, try to let them know you because only in this manner you can be helped in the best way and keep the grace within you.
How many times, especially at the beginning, Our Lady spoke about the so-called heart prayer and I explained to you that it has nothing to do with emotions or feelings as unfortunately it has been presented elsewhere. It is really the prayer Jesus speaks of in the Gospel: when a heart is good, when it contains the grace, when it contains the love of God, then everything that comes out of the heart is good; If, on the other hand, the grace is lacking, if God is not present in our hearts, instead of good thoughts, we are pushed towards evil thoughts. The secret of doing good is to be united with God. As our union with God weakens or, worse still, breaks, we are faced with bitter surprises and strong defeats. We want to win and I wish that you too would hope that victory is near; but we must be ready and united with Christ, the supreme leader. If we are close to Him, if we are united among us, we become like the famous Macedonian phalanx that went on sweeping all enemies and adversaries.