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XIV Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Jerusalem of today, the future Jerusalem

7/4/2019
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Dear brothers and sisters, Fiat!

Last Sunday we read that Jesus, with a painful decision, set off for Jerusalem. In today's Gospel (Lk 10,1-9) the Lord “appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit”, and taught them how they should behave.

Today, the first reading (Is 66,10-14) directs attention to the destination of Jesus' journey, where He died and rose again.

There are many cities, whose importance transcends their current socio-political role; the happy environmental position, the historical vicissitudes, the monuments have endowed some of them with a special evocative charm: in the context of Italy, just think of Florence, Venice, Rome. Many cities of this type are scattered all over the world; but there is a city that surpasses all others. For those who read the Bible, this city is Jerusalem.

In sacred texts Jerusalem occurs most frequently.  It is linked to extreme events of tragedy and glory, to key figures like David and Jesus, to incomparable sites such as the ancient temple, the calvary, the Mount of Olives. Jerusalem is a coveted destination and the object of boundless love, which for three thousand years makes pilgrims dream; it made Jews and Christians cry when they saw that it had been destroyed.

We can find its name in the Psalms: "Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy!!" or in the aforementioned page of Isaiah: Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her, all you who love her; exult, exult with her, all you who were mourning over her! Oh, that you may suck fully of the milk of her comfort, that you may nurse with delight at her abundant breasts! For thus says the LORD: Lo, I will spread prosperity over Jerusalem like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent. As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms, and fondled in her lap; as a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.

The prophet say those words to the Jews who have just returned from the Babylonian exile. However, the historical reality was very different: once they returned from exile, the Jews continued to be under a foreign power and found themselves in front of a destroyed city that they had to rebuild, amid a thousand difficulties that have not disappeared since then.

But it is the contrast between the harsh reality and the splendid words of the prophet that gave to the latter ones the value of an announcement, of a perspective that will be realized only in the coming world. In this sense, these words find a parallel in the Christian age, with the conclusion of the Apocalypse (Revelation 21-22) that outlines eternal life as a dwelling in perfect Jerusalem. "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.

I like to include in the reflection of this Sunday's Gospel, a passage from the Writings of Luisa of 3 October 1928, where, regarding the places where the designs of God are realized, Jesus speaks of the places where the Kingdom of the Divine Will will be manifested.

Mi piace inserire in questa riflessione del Vangelo per questa domenica, un brano degli Scritti di Luisa del 3 ottobre 1928, dove, a proposito dei luoghi dove si realizzano i disegni di Dio, Gesù parla dei luoghi dove si manifesterà il Regno della Divina Volontà.

if Rome has the primacy of the Church, she owes it to Jerusalem, because the beginning of Redemption was precisely in Jerusalem. Within that fatherland, from the little town of Nazareth God chose the Virgin Mother; Jesus was born in the little town of Bethlehem, and all of His Apostles were from that fatherland. And even though, ungrateful, she did not want to recognize Him and rejected the goods of His Redemption, it cannot be denied that the origin, the beginning, the first people who received the good of It, were from this city. The first criers of the Gospel, those who established Catholicism in Rome, were Jesus’ Apostles, all from Jerusalem – that is, from this fatherland.

Now there will be an exchange: if Jerusalem gave to Rome the life of religion and therefore of Redemption, Rome will give to Jerusalem the Kingdom of the Divine Will. And this is so true, that just as God chose a Virgin from the little town of Nazareth for the Redemption, so He chose another virgin in a little town of Italy belonging to Rome, to whom the mission of the Kingdom of the Divine Fiat was entrusted. And since It must be known in Rome, just as Jesus’ coming upon earth was known in Jerusalem, Rome will have the great honor of requiting Jerusalem for the great gift received from her, which is Redemption, by making known to her the Kingdom of the Divine Will. Then will Jerusalem repent of her ingratitude, and will embrace the life of the religion which she gave to Rome; and, grateful, she will receive from Rome the life and the great gift of the Kingdom of the Divine Will.

And not only Jerusalem, but all the other nations will receive from Rome the great gift of the Kingdom of the Fiat, the first criers of It, Its gospel - all full of peace, of happiness and of restoration of the creation of man. And not only will Jesus’manifestations bring sanctity, joys, peace and happiness, but the whole of Creation, competing with them, will unleash from each created thing each of the happinesses It contains, and will pour them over the creatures. In fact, in creating man, God placed in his being all the seeds of the happinesses which each created thing possessed, disposing the interior of man like a field which contained all the seeds of happinesses; so much so, that he has within himself all the tastes to be able to savor and receive into himself all the happinesses of created things. If man did not possess these seeds, he would lack the sense of taste, of smell, to be able to enjoy what God had put out of Himself in the whole Creation.

By sinning, man caused all these seeds of happiness which God had infused in him in creating him to fall ill, and therefore he lost the taste to be able to enjoy all the happinesses contained in Creation. It happened as to a poor ill one, who cannot enjoy all the flavors contained in foods; on the contrary, he feels heaviness; food itself converts into pain; everything gives him nausea; and if he takes it, it is not because he enjoys it, but in order not to die. On the other hand, one who is healthy feels taste, strength, warmth, because his stomach has the strength to assimilate the goods contained in foods, and he enjoys them. The same happened in man: by sinning, he caused the seeds, and the very strength to be able to enjoy all the happinesses contained in Creation, to fall ill; and many times they convert into pain. Now, with the return of man into the Divine Fiat, the seeds will acquire health, and he will acquire the strength to assimilate and to enjoy all the happinesses present in the order of Creation. So, a contest of happiness will begin for him; everything will smile at him, and man will return to be happy, as God had created him.

don Marco
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