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XIX Sunday in Ordinary Time

The gift of the Heavenly Father against discomfort

8/9/2018
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Dear brothers and sisters, Fiat!

The passage from today's Gospel (Jn 6,41-51) continues the teaching that Jesus addressed to all those who followed Him to Capernaum, after the multiplication of the loaves and fish. Last Sunday we listened to Jesus' self-revelation. ("I am the bread that came down from heaven ") Today the Gospel takes it up again: On hearing that, Jesus’ listeners, remain disconcerted and ask themselves: "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'? "But Jesus reiterates:" I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever".

The reference to the Eucharist is already clear (it will be even more later). To explain the greatness of this gift, Jesus recalls the comparison with the manna, called by Jews “bread from heaven”, that in the wilderness had nourished the ancestors and freed them from the slavery of Egypt: "Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died; This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die." Thus, Jesus Himself establishes a sort of parallel between the "bread of heaven" in the Old Testament and the one in the New Testament, the former foretells the latter, and finds its full meaning, its fulfillment, its perfection in the latter.

In the Old Testament we can see a foretaste of the Eucharist in the first reading of today concerning the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 19: 4-8). Elijah who lived in the ancient dissident kingdom of Israel, was seized by a moment of despair: after so many struggles, risks and memorable undertakings to bring back to God a rebellious people, he noted his failure: everyone preferred to follow false, but easy and comfortable pagan deities. Then the prophet went away; he went into the desert, he lay down under a broom and asked God that He would make him die; but God intervened, He sent him bread and water, He ordered him to continue the journey that would lead him to a direct encounter with Him.

Elijah's discomfort reflects what many people feel, sooner or later: disappointment, distrust, bitterness, awareness of their limitations, desire to throw in the towel in that endless match that sometimes the days of man, one after the other, seem to be. But when this happens, it is because one forgets God's help: His Word, His promises, the certainty that He is always with His own and offers to them His support, the true "bread from heaven".

Elijah, like the Jews with the manna, and the crowd for whom Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish, received a material food, which is granted "one-off" in particular circumstances. But, how much greater the spiritual food is! Yet it is not a prerogative of some privileged people: it is available to anyone who wants to receive it, and not only once, but always, as long as the journey can last until the goal.

The Eucharist is also the indispensable support to realize the portrait of the ideal Christian that the apostle Paul traces for the benefit of the Christians of Ephesus and of all the others, both past and present (second reading, Eph 4,30-5, 2). He says: Brothers and sisters "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, ... Let all bitterness, indignation, anger, shouts and slanders with all sorts of malice disappear from you. Be kind to one another, merciful, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you (through the merits of) Christ. So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love, in the way in which Christ also loved us and gave himself for us ".

The portrait made by the apostle Paul is a double portrait: first, it outlines how the Christian should not be, so as not to grieve the Lord (what a beautiful reason!); then there is the positive thing, to suggest how to live in love, imitating the love of Christ for us. There is nothing more to say.

In the passage of November 2, 1926, while Luisa was following in the Divine Will what Jesus did in Redemption, Jesus explained to her that His Redemption came as remedy for man, and therefore It serves as remedy, as medicine, as food, for the sick, for the blind, for the mute, and for all kinds of maladies. And because they are sick, they do not enjoy nor receive all the strength which all the remedies that Jesus came to bring them for their good contain. The Eucharistic Sacrament which He left as food in order to give them perfect health - many eat It over and over again, but they appear always sick. How many corrupted palates, how many undigesting stomachs, which prevent creatures from enjoying the taste of Heaven ‘s food, and from digesting all the strength of God’s Sacramental Life. And so they remain infirm; and because they are members feverish in evil, they take it with no appetite.

This is why Jesus longs so much for the coming of the Kingdom of the Supreme Fiat – because, then, everything He did in coming upon earth will serve as food for those who enjoy perfect health. What is not the difference between a sick person who takes the same food, and someone else who enjoys perfect health? The infirm one takes it without appetite, without taste, and it serves him in order to sustain himself and not die. The healthy one takes it with appetite, and because he enjoys it, he takes more, and preserves himself strong and healthy. So, what will not be God’s contentment in seeing that, in the Kingdom of the Divine Will, everything He did will serve no longer as food for the sick, but as food for the children of God’s Kingdom, who will be all full of vigor and in perfect health? Even more, by possessing the Divine Will, they will possess God’s permanent Life within them, just as the Blessed in Heaven possess.

So, the Divine Will will be the veil that will hide God’s Life in them. And just as the Blessed possess Him within themselves as their own life, because true happiness has its origin inside the soul, and so the happiness which they receive continuously from the Divinity holds hands and exchanges the kiss with the happiness which they possess inside, and this is why they are fully happy; in the same way, the soul who possesses the Divine Will will have His perennial Life within her, which will serve her as continuous food – not once a day, like the food of His Sacramental Life. In fact, the Divine Will will make greater display, nor will It be content with giving Itself once a day, but It will give Itself continuously, because It knows that these have pure palates and strong stomachs to be able to enjoy and digest, in every moment, the strength, the light, the Divine Life. And the Sacraments, His Sacramental Life, will serve as food, as delight, as new happiness for the Life of the Supreme Fiat which they will possess.

The Kingdom of the Divine Will will be the true echo of the Celestial Fatherland, in which, while the Blessed possess their God as their own life, they receive Him into themselves also from the outside. So, inside and outside of themselves, Divine Life they possess, and Divine Life they receive. What will not be God’s happiness in giving Himself sacramentally to the children of the Eternal Fiat, and in finding His own Life in them? Then will God’s Sacramental Life have Its complete fruit; and as the species are consumed, He will no longer have the sorrow of leaving His children without the food of His continuous Life, because His Will, more than sacramental accidents, will maintain Its Divine Life always with Its full possession. In the Kingdom of the Divine Will there will be neither foods nor communions that are interrupted – but perennial; and everything He did in Redemption will serve no longer as remedy, but as delight, as joy, as happiness, and as beauty ever growing. So, the triumph of the Supreme Fiat will give complete fruit to the Kingdom of Redemption

don Marco
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