Homily of H.E. Mons. Claudio Gatti of May 31, 2007
VISITATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
1st reading: Zeph 3:14-18; Psalm Is 12; Gospel Lk 1:39-56
This year we celebrated a "sui generis" Marian month, different from that of past years because it was not possible to celebrate it as a community due to objective problems; however, if at the end of the month we add up the commitment that each of us has had in loving Our Lady, in going to Jesus the Eucharist, in praying and if we also add all personal commitments, I am convinced that we get a result higher than that of past years, when we even met every day of the week or only in some days. When there is commitment, goodwill and above all love, even if some obstacles seem to hinder the realization of a goal or a desire, by the Lord's work it is possible to reach a much more qualified height and even higher than what could be achieved in the ordinariness of cases. Here is how the extraordinary became ordinary: each of us has loved Our Lady, honored her day by day in the best way and joined Jesus the Eucharist, including adoration.
This happened because we did not restrict to praying only, but to prayer we added the suffering of renouncing to participate, as in previous years, in the daily encounter with the Mother of the Eucharist. All this allows us to better understand the reality of us being children and that of being mother.
We are always at the forefront of everything and tonight I want to debunk another commonplace, another ordinary concept present in the Church. I say that the recurring expression: "The Christian must have devotion for Our Lady" is wrong or reductive, at least. You can have devotion for the saints: Saint Rita, Saint Anthony, Saint Francis or Saint John, but towards Our Lady it is not enough to have a devotion. In fact, devotion is something that relies heavily on emotion, on feeling and sentiment, that is, on external factors; however towards Our Lady we must have instead something similar to what we have with the Christ: a "relationship". This relation is made up with two terms: a mother on one side and a child on the other; this means that Our Lady is present in our life, she is within our life through teaching, example and prayer. Every mother, even when she is no more, always remains in the life of her children thanks to memories, experiences and dialogues; likewise Our Lady too is within us. She is the one stimulating our spiritual life, she is the one who tries to bring her to a condition of greater union with her Son Jesus, she is the one who, as she always says, is close to us with prayer, is supporting us at all times and is participating in our life: in joyful moments, in painful moments and in glorious moments. This is why it is reductive to say "having devotion for Our Lady"!
Speaking of glorious moments, today you heard that Our Lady said something that certainly amazed you. The Lord does not need men, He works as He wants without asking anyone's permission. My episcopal ordination was directly wanted by him and He ordained me a bishop, without the need for laying on of hands or rituals or anointing: "You are bishop, this is the will of God".
Instead, to ordain other bishops, the Lord used the undersigned; they are aware of this ordination and are mainly in Africa, but also in Europe, Asia, Australia and in the Americas. I still don't know how exactly this happened. I was shocked when God the Father, about ten days ago, told me that I had ordained fifty-one bishops and seventy-seven priests; yet the Lord does everything in the best way, even to protect me from any possible censure. You know that an episcopal ordination must be authorized by the Pope, through a pontifical mandate, without it, both the one who ordains and those who are ordained incurs excommunication, as was the case for the well-known African bishop who ordained four bishops (On 24th September 2006 Emmanuel Milingo, without the Pope's consent, ordered four US priests, editor’s note). In my case it is surprising that no one can condemn me because I was here and therefore I did not break any article of the canon law code; the bishops and priests who have been ordained are aware of this and are already exercising their ministry.
If they were to condemn me then it would mean that they believe in these ordinations: all this for them will certainly be a considerable puzzle. I was here, I was not aware that I was elsewhere at the same time or in other places, but one day everything will be clear, I will meet those I ordained in bilocation. For this reason, if someone were to say that I am excommunicated the answer is no, because only God grants the gift of bilocation. In this way either they will laugh or they will shiver because there are no alternatives: what matters is that they will not be able to do or say anything, they will not be able to issue any condemnation and in the meantime God is reviving the Church.
I honestly thought that these ordinations had to remain confidential. I was surprised when Our Lady publicly announced it, but it is God who decides, so if His will and His decision is this, very well, we rejoice for all this. So from now on, I think I can say it, I ask you to pray for my bishops and my priests. Of course, nothing has apparently changed, but much has changed away from here; for the moment not even an Italian has been ordained and I know the reason for it. However, in the designs of God some Italian priests will be ordained bishops along with another group of foreigners who will join the previous ones; this means that things are starting to move. Do you think God would have announced something like this if the situation was still at the very beginning? It is going ahead, so this too must be accepted and believed with gratitude.
On June 24, 1999 you gasped when Jesus announced again that he had ordained me a bishop, as you did not understand it on June 20; today you have gasped again and it is beautiful that it happened on the same day when also Our Lady and St. Elizabeth had a jolt in their womb. And all this is significant, who would have said it in 1999? I believe that no bishop has ordained as many bishops as I did and so many others will still to be ordained.
On the other hand, this had already been announced several times by Our Lady: "Your Bishop will ordain many bishops". These are the first in a long list and they will have to replace and take the place of the mercenaries. They will certainly be shepherds according to the heart of God, they will be people who will love and will make others love the Eucharist and will love the souls they must lead. All this means that the Church is finally being reborn and moving forward only for the power of God, only for the intervention of God and only for the work of God.