Homily of H.E. Mons. Claudio Gatti of June 29, 2007
1st reading: Acts 12:1-11; Psalm 33; 2nd reading: 2 Tim 4:6-8, 17, 18; Gospel: Mt 16:13-19
Today I have a certain embarrassment as I will have to talk about myself. This time you will hear me speaking in the third person of the "Bishop ordained by God" because in this way I feel more at liberty. I will repeat to you what the Lord and Our Lady have said publicly in recent years and today.
I begin by showing you the painting. I believe that we need to make a small correction: the trilogy of the three "P’s", I think you understand it, I don't have to add anything else.
The Lord has his designs, He realizes them and no one can take the liberty to hinder them, as he will go against His will and will offend him; in the end he will have to give an account to Him, first in the private judgment and then in the Last Judgment.
As we move forward, we see God's designs emerging more and more clearly. At first we could not understand and there seemed to be a contradiction between what God had communicated to us at first and what He added later. However, as you go on, familiarity and confidence with God increase, so everything becomes brighter, clearer and richer.
Peter, Paul and the Bishop ordained by God have very much in common; first of all the call coming directly from the Lord: none of the three would have ever imagined being called directly by God.
Pietro was even married. To be precise, he was a widower, his wife was dead. When he was called by Christ, he did not abandon his wife, as many think. It is possible that we do not come to understand certain things and in our interpretations we come to authentic nonsense. But how is it possible that Christ breaks a family up? He was a widower. Yes, it is true, we talk about the mother-in-law, but the mother-in-law remains a mother even if the bride dies. So he got married, planned to start a family, was a fisherman and had his modest business.
Paul was on the opposite side, sworn enemy of the Christians, he tried to find and imprison them and have them killed.
I, too, before being called, did not think at all to become a priest. I have said it a few times, I wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, but the Lord called me and my answer was an authentic and generous "Yes".
Even the episcopal ordination of all three was made directly by God: Peter's ordination took place during the last supper, together with the other apostles; Paul’s ordination took place, probably, in the silence of the desert where he had retired to meditate when he was preparing for the task to which God had called him; the Bishop ordained by God was ordained on June 20, 1999, although the celebration, by the will of the Lord, was moved to June 29.
We have considered God's call and ordination as common elements between Peter, Paul and the Bishop, but also their life is very similar. All three have suffered unbroken and continuous suffering. Peter, we know this directly from the Acts of the Apostles, was imprisoned three times: the first with John, the second with the apostles, the third time he was alone when he was freed by an angel. The prisons of that time were much harsher than current ones, and prisoners, and perhaps rightly so, complained. Peter had also to suffer the attacks of the Jews who considered him a traitor, as he had become a Christian. This was Peter's open bleeding wound, because just to please some converts from Judaism, he then behaved in a non-linear way, so he was later reproached by Paul. All this is part of human nature and human frailty. We are particularly attached to Peter, because in his approximately thirty-two, thirty-three years of pontificate (the longest pontificate in all the Church history) he not only converted Rome but traveled extensively, even if we do not have a detailed documentation. In Rome, he stayed a little during the years of his episcopate. He was often on a journey, like all the apostles, including Paul. About Paul we have some memories and precise documentation of his numerous apostolic journeys, less about Peter. Peter is the one who put the roots of the Church in Rome and of this we must be particularly proud and grateful. So he suffered, he was untiring in his traveling, so much so that his feet were hurting. At that time there was no footwear and not even the means of locomotion as we know them today; most of the journey was made on foot and therefore he often had, like the apostles, feet that were bleeding, painful and wounded. When he met with Our Lady, she was the one who cured, bandaged and massaged his feet. The Mother leaned over the apostles and when she did this she certainly remembered that Jesus made the same act, always in their regard.
Maybe we feel closer to Paul, we talk more about him, we have known him and we are getting to know his letters. He made a list, contained in the second letter to the Corinthians, of all that he suffered: imprisonments, floggings, shipwrecks, struggles, dangers, turmoil, everything he suffered. How does this list of suffering end? "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties so that Christ’s power may rest on me. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Cor 12:9-10), here is the greatness of Paul, the one who knows how to affirm that he is truly the imitator of Christ. "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ" (1 Cor 11), but at the same time he also acknowledges his own weakness and fragility.
Peter suffered, Paul suffered and could the Bishop ordained by God suffer less? You know the suffering of the Bishop, it is clearly written in all the presentations collecting the messages and letters of God. This is why these three people have much in common: the election, the call, the episcopal ordination and the extremely suffered life. This is the path that God reserves for his apostles, this is the path he wanted us to take. Do you think that Peter and Paul have always accepted everything with a smile? Oh no! Our Lady told us that none of them was ever calm and peaceful in their often tortured life. Even the greatest saints felt moments of tiredness, weakness and fragility. The Lord knows how to accept us and knows how to respect us for what we are, so you see, even in this respect, the three of them have much in common.
Let's go back to Peter: "You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church" (Mt 16:18). With this expression Christ makes us understand why this message has been handed down over the centuries, the centrality of Peter’s figure that must resemble Christ’s figure. If he does not resemble Christ’s figure, how can Peter confirm his brothers? How can he show faith and love if they are not present in him? And so, you can do this: pray for Peter’s next successors, May they be strong and love Jesus and the souls, as Peter loved them and may they follow his teachings and live the same relationship that Peter had with Christ.
On Peter I Christ founded the Church, a certain Peter II will be the one who will have to revive it. This is what God wants, this is what is paved before us. You know, before the others, the future of the Church History of which you will have to be witnesses at the right time. Everyone could know it if they follow, accept and are humble and simple in listening to the letters of God. When instead, they have a stand of preconception, exclusion, selfishness, pride, presumption, then they do not lower themselves to read these letters.
Allow me to make recommendations to you and I would like them to be complied with today and forever. We follow our path and we are not interested in messages that come from outside this thaumaturgic place. We know, because this we have been told many times, that for years and until today, Our Lady no longer appears outside Rome, so do not listen to other sources, because they are polluted, they do not contain clear and clean water, even if apparently they can be similar to our letters of God. You do not imagine how many, to spruce up, copy some concepts that are proper and exclusive of the Mother of the Eucharist.
There is another task that I entrust you with, don't go and talk to priests anymore. It was God the Father who told Marisa and me, before Jesus publicly said it to you all. That’s enough. Go to churches, pray, listen to the Holy Mass and go, you don't have to meet any priest, let alone talk to any of them. If by chance a priest should approach and address you, you can politely answer: "Father, I have other things to do, I don't care what you want to tell me, I tell you this with respect". Should they insist, you can listen to him and talk about Jesus, Our Lady, the letters of God and the works of God He performed here. Talk only about what you know and what you have known by attending this place, nothing else. I assure you that I do the same, I tear and throw in the trash bin all that is outside this place. Do it too, this God wants and I say this to you. I hope it is clear enough, that you understand it and that no one can disregard what, not me, but whoever is infinitely superior to me, that is to say God, commanded to do.
Jesus added: "Do not think of those, even if they are relatives, who made you suffer; erase from your life everything that can make you suffer and pollute your existence". He will have his reasons if He spoke like that, we have nothing else we can do but to obey; to each of you I ask for a particular and docile obedience.
Pray for the fifty-one bishops and seventy-seven priests whom God, in bilocation, made me ordain; who knows if one day, if not all of them at least some of them, you may also see them here in this place. Certainly many will come to Rome, and undoubtedly they will also come here, where there will be you all welcoming them and praying with them and for them because the Church, by then, will have taken several steps towards its own rebirth. When this rebirth begins, it will be unstoppable because God will take his Church by the hand and lead it to the fidelity to the Word of God, to the acceptance of sacraments, to love the neighbor and God. Everything can be done, everything can be accomplished.
Have happy holidays, rest, have fun, come back refreshed, serene because we must always be ready to answer God's call and when it comes we must have well-oiled lamps in our hand on one side and the stick on the other and walk to get where God wants.
Praised be Jesus Christ.