Homily of H.E. Mons. Claudio Gatti of June 21, 2009
12th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B)
1st reading: Job 38:1, 8-11; Psalm 106; 2nd reading: 2 Cor 5:14-17; Gospel: Mk 4:35-41
All of you present here, or almost all of you, have witnessed, once at least, the announcement that is made in St. Peter's when the election of the new Pope is announced. The Protodeacon Cardinal, the first of the cardinals of the diaconal service, in a pompous and solemn voice, announces: "Nuntio vobis gaudium magnum: habemus Papam!", or: "I announce to you a great joy: we have the Pope". The Lord wants me to sort things out in the Church and I am tired of having to hear, and I have heard many, "Habemus Papam". I want to hear: "Habemus novam Ecclesiam" or "We have a new Church". Popes pass, they can also be saints, they can leave memories, they can leave marks in history, but they pass. Who, among you, remembers a Pope from another century? The Church, on the other hand, the community of the living, must be remembered and kept in mind. Indeed, it was generated by the death of Christ and came out of his pierced side. The Church is the fruit of his passion, death and resurrection. Jesus never abdicated his role as Head and Founder of the Church and gave a great gift to humanity and entrusted its government to men: "Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19). And this was the big trouble: we had bishops, cardinals, priests both saints and unworthy. Today it is not difficult to understand what the situation of the Church is: it is enough to read newspapers or watch television services concerning it, continually disclosing things mainly with the intention of striking than healing, some are even scandalmongers in exaggerated tones, however, as Our Lady told us, they always tell much less than the painful reality. Who, among you, does not hear jokes about the Church, with negative and heavy speeches. That is why I am finally awaiting the announcement: "Habemus novam Ecclesiam", not from a cardinal but from God.
The Church is being reborn and will be reborn; we have waited for this for decades and when I say “we” I mean the Bishop and Marisa only; you all joined later. None of you can claim a birthright you do not have; that is why I am waiting for the announcement of a new Church. Let it be known that the announcement of every victory is always preceded by great suffering. A victory in sport, in scientific research, in diplomacy, in society does not arise spontaneously like a flower in the desert but is the result of effort, renunciation and suffering. Then we can say that God's will shows in a surprising way, most of the time clearly but sometimes less so. We act like those old people who don't see or hear, but would not admit it. From this point of view, all of you here, starting from those who are twenty to those who are eighty, all behave in the same way: we are all presumptuous to be able to listen and understand everything, but we are wrong.
It is not possible to understand God as we would like, unfortunately it is so. You know the story of some mothers who voluntarily gave up their lives and died in order to bring their children into the world. I don't remember the names now, but some have even been beatified or canonized even quite recently. I think there are many more of them, but they haven't been canonized because many people don't care. It is more interesting to canonize a founder or foundress of some religious order than a simple and humble mother, who lived in concealment and offered her life to give it to her own creature. All this does not cause a sensation and consequently human interest before all this decreases. God works differently, he doesn't have to ask anyone's permission to act as he wants, neither to the Pope nor the entire College of Cardinals or the college of bishops. Should he ask permission to all the four hundred thousand and more priests who set themselves up as pastors of the Church? And why do they demand it?
Remember when the apostles quarreled among themselves about who was the greatest and Jesus took a child and placed him among them saying: "Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 18:4). So from this point of view you understand why Jesus and Our Lady several times told Marisa to never grow up and to always remain a child, because children are the symbol of simplicity, innocence and immediacy. We adults are tortuous, confusing and complex. How many times it happened that I told you one thing and you understood another; I wasn't wrong, it was you who didn't understand! If a child has a doubt, he goes to his mother or father to ask what he should do; instead, you did not come to me to ask for explanations. What overconfidence you have! All of you feel like spiritual mothers or confessors to decide what to do, and you were wrong. And the Bishop resented it. At your home if a child doesn't do what you say, do you bring him a treat and pat him on the cheek? You are indignant if the Bishop gets angry and reproaches you. The absurdity is that the reproached person feels right and thinks of himself: "After all, what did I do wrong?" Hypocrite! Do you want to be with God? You must be humble and simple. Marisa and I have given our contribution of humility and simplicity, we have given up everything and what have you given up? Many of you feel fine because they come here to pray on Sundays, but what about the other days? Why don't you come and pray? Why don't you come and give? How many times have you been told that when the Bishop is gone you will cry, you will kick yourself, as they say in Rome.
God makes use of the little and the humble ones and Marisa is the smallest person to whom God has given the greatest gifts and charisms, as well as many sufferings. Our sister has tried to keep all these gifts hidden away; instead, years ago some people came here, despite not having any gift, introduced themselves as seers or claiming to have inner locutions, but they were only cheaters. I had to treat them harshly and chase them away: there is no mercy for those deceiving the others. Jesus said: “If anyone causes one of these little ones, those who believe in me, to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come” (Mt 18:6-7). Scandals are awful. Some of you believe more in certain fairy tales than in the truth. Today I'm giving you a good trashing but you deserve it. Sometimes you believe more in false people rather than in those who told you the truth because you wanted to hear what was convenient for you. They deceived you and you made the Bishop and the Seer suffer; you will always have this on your conscience. I am not forgetting it, not because I don't want to forgive you, but to highlight all the mistakes we have made as a community and from which we have freed ourselves.
If Our Lady, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit hadn't been among us, most of you present here now would be in a disastrous situation, identical to that of some who went away throwing mud towards the sky. Unfortunately, they get covered in slime and mud and stink so much that it's best to stay away from them. The little and the simple are the ones who win. "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children" (Mt 11:25) and I repeat that the one who lived in the most childlike and simple way was indeed Marisa. I have never heard her boast of a gift or tell of some supernatural adventure of hers; I, her spiritual father, have sometimes had to force her, even recently, to publicly tell her extraordinary experiences. On the contrary, people who saw a woman dressed in red came here, those who felt one thing and those who felt another. How many lies have been said! I have always harshly reproached these hypocrisies. If they were authentic instruments, they should have worked elsewhere and not come here to just sow discord. I had to be strong and tough to save the truth because you weren't humble like Marisa but proud and arrogant just like the other people.
“Habemus novam Ecclesiam”, may this new Church come, made up of honest, sincere, just, pure, generous, chaste, obedient, balanced, wise and prepared pastors. And no more thieves, immoral, homosexuals, pedophiles and so on.
My dear, if it hadn't been for God, right now, instead of hearing the Bishop ordained by God, you might have been hearing someone cheating you. And here then we have that the death of the righteous becomes a victory for God, he does not need men, however once Our Lady said a sentence that shocked Marisa and me: "God needs the two of you" and then he extended twenty-four hours Marisa’s life; she was really displeased because only tomorrow she will be able to go up to God the Father. Do you know why? To try to convert at the last minute some of the priests I mentioned. In this way, one day, the Bishop ordained by God will be able to count on a few more collaborators. And Marisa said "Yes", but I would have said no.
It is very hard to keep on staying on Earth, even for just twenty-four hours, in the midst of great suffering. Yesterday was her birthday and we celebrated it as best as we could. Marisa celebrated it throughout the day in her martyrdom and especially in the evening she lived a dreadful passion; what a beautiful celebration Jesus reserved for her! But who am I to judge Him; he might answer: “Why are you complaining? I'm preparing your collaborators!” Jesus, prepare a few less of them because I can't see Marisa suffer so much. None of you understood the suffering of this woman who kept it hidden in every way. None of us would be able to sustain even one minute of her enormous suffering that God has given her for years, a life lasting seventy-seven years.
In the past it happened that God announced the day of Marisa's departure but then he changed it. And Marisa worried about what people would say. I reassured her saying that she doesn't have to care less. "If you believe it, fine, otherwise there is the door, go away and leave us alone". I speak clearly, I don't have to give explanations to you; if God does not give them to me, what must I say to you? After the Eucharistic miracles, the physical and spiritual healings that have taken place here, what more do you want? Today, dozens of people present here would have been in the cemetery if they hadn't received graces. You will never have another Bishop who loves you, who talks straight to you, you will regret him. All other priests who show themselves sweet and smiling are false and hypocrites, they do not serve the good of the Church.
Do you know what the most beautiful appreciation Jesus gave me was? His goodness, he gave me so many, but the most beautiful praise that he addressed to me was this: "You have never reached the harshness and severity with which I, Jesus Christ, spoke". Did you know it? And someone has complained that at times I have been too severe, but if I have to tell the truth I always say what I think, even to the Pope. I say what I think even before cardinals, bishops and priests. Must I justify before you? Don't you want to come? Stay away, this is my house, I'm in charge here and no one can dispute it. If I didn't do this, I would be putting my successor in an awful situation.
During the summer holidays you grilled that poor Don Ernesto over and over again: some said one thing, some another and that poor fellow, like Buridan's donkey, didn't know which way to turn. The priest is a teacher, sometimes difficult but loyal and no one can say that I have deceived you or told you something that is not true. Jesus told me: "Don't worry, you have a long way to go before you reach my severity!" Marisa's most beautiful characteristic was that she said things to my face. How do you think our young people have changed? Do you think they were already saints when they arrived here? How do you think they have changed? With sternness. Is there anyone among you young people I have not made you cry? I made everyone cry: my goodness how harsh I am! You don't imagine how much love this is and before they cried, I was destroyed inside. But now, God willing, I can leave and leave the community in safe hands. My young people are my children and they take absolute precedence over all others. Am I clear? You too with white hair or wrinkles, do you want to be my children? Are you willing to drink the bitter chalice that I have drunk and I will drink? Be aware that the chalice bitter is.
And then, as I have already told you, Marisa's departure must be an element of union. I repeat, whoever wants to commit himself is welcome, whoever doesn't feel like it, please go away. Anyone who wants to come here to be a teacher, please don't even go near the gate. It's not presumption. God has given me this task, assuring me that I will be helped by Our Lady, by Saint Joseph, by Marisa and by grandmother Iolanda. I demand humility from you. Stop complaining: "Our Lady said this at one time, but then the opposite." But who are you? One of the things I learned the hard way from God is total abandonment to his will and even with me at times he was not tender: “I am God and I do what I want. I can change the plan as I want. Who are you to impose on me? Nobody". And you are upset if I reproach you.
We thank God for having given us Marisa for so many years, but she has not been appreciated, respected, considered by most of the people: acquaintances, relatives and members of the community. I proposed as her defense attorney without looking at anyone. When Cardinal Ruini said that some parish priests had told him that Marisa had psychological problems, I got up, took the paper with the diagnosis written by Professor Amato, head of psychiatry at the University of Rome and his collaborators, and I slammed it before him and I told him that I would sue anyone who said otherwise. Would you have done it? When it comes to defending the truth, I have never backed down. I personally paid for betrayals and abandonments, but Marisa and I can say that we have never betrayed God. And now it is right that we accompany her on this journey. Today she is still with us. Tomorrow I don't know when the time will come, I hope soon because she is tired; even half an hour more is a lot for her.
Marisa sacrificed in a particular way for her brother, the bishop: we have come to be united as one. She and I are more than husband and wife, brother and sister, father and daughter. They tried to stain this union, but they didn't succeed because Our Lady said: "Lilies, even submerged in mud, are still lilies". The human mud has never reached us. Are you capable of loving? Do you want to love? (Everyone answers “yes”). I want to hear your answer louder (Everyone repeats “yes” louder). And if you betray me, I'll kick you out! Remember this meeting. Be holy, or go away. There are no half measures. Yesterday you greeted Marisa by going up to her room. We will do the same today. Woe to anyone who dares to shake her hand. Don't try to be clever, today, those who didn't go up yesterday will pay a short visit. Marisa wants all of you to have a memory of her. After her departure, if you deserve it, I will also give you something more precious: the gauze wet with her blood during her passion.
How beautiful it is to speak like that: freely, without touchiness and without inhibitions.
I don't know when the funeral will take place, actually, it would be better to call it: "mystical marriage". I want a really beautiful basilica, with white and light blue flowers, with the flags showing the places where she was in bilocation; I want the most beautiful carpets and the light blue pall, which is the most beautiful, the most solemn sacred vessels and the most elegant episcopal cloth. It will be the most beautiful of all the weddings celebrated here! I hope the Lord won't make me wait so long before seeing her again and if you behave well, if you live in God's grace, it is possible that you too may see her together with Our Lady.
Enough with the gossip behind the back; speak face-to-face, don't tell lies, put up with each other, pray for the Church, don't feel better than others, accept living in the last place, forgive those who even voluntarily cause suffering. I'm treating you like children.
Love God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, Our Lady and Saint Joseph because this is my and Marisa's family. It is useless for you to cry now, you will cry later. You have to change your heart. It is useless for you to complain: "I work more than others, I do this and that". If you are very interested, go to the person in charge and ask him to collaborate more. You all have to work for the house of God, according to your possibilities and if you can't iron, then sew; if you can't wash the floor, then dust it. You all have to make a contribution. If someone just can't make it, we'll take him to the hospital. I'm kidding, it's nice to talk like that.
After the Holy Mass I want all my young people to accompany me to the sacristy where I will have to speak to you. Give your best contribution with joy and willingness. I want the day of the "mystical wedding" to be the most beautiful, the most solemn of all the days we have lived. Can I count on you? (Everyone answers “yes”). Can I count on it? (Everyone repeats “yes”). Is there anyone who will back down? (Everyone answers "no").
Love each other, be fond of each other.
Live in anticipation of joining your sister in Heaven, when God wills it. I prayed to God to take me with her because I too am tired of living, but God entrusted me with the mission to fix the Church. And believe me, it's hard, maybe harder than dying; indeed, to die is a gain, to live is a loss.
I am fond of you and I hope you too are fond of me.
That said, we can just resume the Holy Mass.
Praised be Jesus Christ.