Eucharist Miracle Eucharist Miracles

Homily of H.E. Mons. Claudio Gatti of December 31, 2006

1st reading: 1 Sam 1:20-22, 24-28; Psalm 83; 2nd reading: 1 Jn 3:1-2, 21-24; Gospel: Lk 2:41-5

The feast of the Holy Family invites us to meditate on the family. The first directive God gave was to form families: "Grow, multiply and fill the Earth" (Gen 9:1) "This is why man will abandon his father and mother and join his wife and the two they will be one flesh" (Gen 2:24). Jesus, in his evangelization and spreading of the Word of God, repeated this teaching and this invitation, with the same solemnity as the Father, without making any derogation or exception.

Today, in the third millennium, there are obtuse positions: some declare themselves open to the stimuli of modernity and consider the family to be outdated and to be freely modified, while others still defend the traditional model of the family and are defined conservative or traditionalist because they do not accept the thrust of modernity. Well, I rank myself among the latter and I am very happy to be considered conservative and traditionalist, it would be just in this instance, perhaps the only one, because they have always considered me open and modern. I am pleased because, in this way, I am in the company of God, because I respect his teachings.

Now let's think about our Italy: we have come to situations in which we really no longer understand anything, we are concerned not to offend the susceptibility or religiosity of members who belong to other religions and, in order to do this, we are ready to remove symbols and hymns of Christianity. This is nonsense. This also indicates a cultural vacuum because the Western world, in its literature, in its art and history, does nothing but refer to the religious contents of Christianity, so emptying or setting them aside is anti-historical and anti-cultural. I cannot understand how certain sublime minds fail to understand this concept, which is easily understood by even the simplest of people.

If the family had been defended with the same intensity with which in these times we want to upset and ruin it, today we would have a completely different situation. We complain that today’s young people are not mature, they have not grown up, they have not reached that psychological and moral balance that, instead, the generations of the past had achieved, but who is responsible for it? Every time there is a separation between parents, regardless of religious belief, political ideas, social or economic condition, tragedies occur for the children. Go and ask the psychologists, who have earned a lot of money thanks to separations. For this reason they are in favor of divorce: new customers and a lot of money. But, aside from the joke, what I have been able to see is that every time there has been a separation, every time a family split up, the children have had negative reactions.

When I taught at school, in the class councils, where teachers meet to decide the students’ marks, several times my colleagues asked me why that boy or that girl who had always obtained brilliant results, then had now a mediocre performance. And each time the explanation was always the same: the parents split up.

This is how we move towards modernity. Church obscurantism. You know that when it comes to highlighting certain errors or denouncing certain crimes committed by men of the Church, I occupy the first place and, for this, I have personally paid. I am only interested in what God says and what Jesus taught, I am not interested in the opinions and directives of the men of the Church. I defend this, even at the cost of being struck both by traditionalists and by those who, on the other hand, claim to belong to modernity. I defend the truth, nothing else is of my interest. Then we hear God's cry: "Grow, multiply and fill the Earth" (Gen 9:1). "This is why man will abandon his father and mother and will unite with his wife and the two will be one flesh" (Gen 2:24). Look how they have lashed out at these two principles with abortion on the one hand and divorce on the other. God taught differently and men opposed God. Then we complain, we cry, we wonder.

The family of Nazareth must be taken as a model. Our families, if they live according to the style of the family of Nazareth, then they are saved from shipwrecks, despair, suffering, but divorce lawyers could say many more painful things about it than what I am saying. Divisions give rise to oppositions, wars, teasing, quarrels and conflicts. But do we have to come to this point? Why don't we listen to the Lord? Why don't we let ourselves be carried away by his Word, why don't we let ourselves be guided by his teachings? As long as our life follows paths other than those indicated by God, they will be full of strains, worries and bitterness.

It would be so easy and beautiful to live in a different society. Do pay attention, societies that deny the Christian principles and commandments are those that are facing their own self-destruction. Anything but modernity, anything but openness. We must be with God, God leads to union, unity and harmony, while his antagonist, Satan, leads to division, conflicts and quarrels. And Christ taught us this clearly: "No one can serve two masters: either he will hate one and love the other, or he will prefer one and despise the other: you cannot serve God and mammon." (Mt 6:24).

In today's second reading, John makes us understand one of the causes of today's evils: "The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him" (1 Jn 3:1). That is, those who do not know God, who do not know Jesus Christ and oppose him, cannot know his children like us either, for this reason they offend and slander us.

We must return to God and we must have the courage to say it, to affirm it and to repeat it, even if arrows are shot at our person, such as irony, sarcasm and contempt. The ones who abide by his commandments stay with God and He in them, while the ones who do not abide by them are far from God and live in a completely opposite way, against Him.

Then let’s start defending our families. Speaking a few days ago with some young married couples I said that their children are lucky, because they have parents who love each other, respect each other and have placed God at the center of their family. Nonetheless they are also partly unfortunate because they have to live in a society, in a world, where they encounter completely different and opposite models outside their own family. This can also be seen in the most trivial things, such as speaking, acting, doing or operating. Is it any wonder that children make vulgar expressions and do things needing reproach? They hear them in the family, so why are we surprised at that? Let's defend the family, give it back its dignity, as far as possible.

Many of you can testify that if within your family there is no unity of life, style and thought, the family creaks, it does not go on well, unity is needed. Then it is right to pray that all men, members of every family, are lightened by the Christmas light. Christmas is God who becomes man to raise man to the dignity of a son.

"See what great love the Father gave us to be called children of God, and we really are!" (1 Jn 3:1). If we do not have his grace, if we do not participate in his divine life, then we cannot be children of God and therefore we are in an antithetical position to what God indicates.

I celebrate this Holy Mass for your families and for the families formed by your sons and your daughters because what has been said today comes from God and, I hope, may it reach their hearts too, may the light clear the darkness, may the truth triumph over lies, may love triumph over selfishness.