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XXIV Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus is not a prophetic announcer, He is the Expected One.

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Dear brothers and sisters, Fiat!

It is easy to say (or delude oneself) to have faith: if we do not translate it into works, into acts of concrete charity, it is not true faith. This is what the apostle James wrote in his letter (2: 14-18), from which the second reading of today is taken. The Gospel (Mk 8: 27-36) recalls a theme already present in the passage last Sunday: Jesus wants to protect the secret around his true identity.

Jesus was on the way, and in the meantime He prepared the apostles for not easy future events related to His person. In this regard, He began with a question: " Who do people say that I am?". From the answers we learn that He was considered one of the reviving prophets: John the Baptist, who had recently been beheaded by Herod, or the very popular Elijah, who for the Jews was the emblem of the hancient prophets, or someone else of the great men sent from God to His people. Jesus then pressed " But who do you say that I am?" Peter impulsively responded with enthusiasm: "You are the Christ". Jesus did not deny him, because, who knows how knowingly, Peter centered the truth; but He recommended not saying anything to anyone.

Why not say this, if it was the truth? Because those words could give rise to misunderstandings. Instead, Jesus wanted to prepare the people to understand them in their authentic sense. The other name of Jesus is ‘Jesus Christ’. It belongs only to Jesus and is inseparable from the first name. Jesus Christ is the Greek translation of the word Messiah, with which the Jews designated the mysterious character announced by the prophets as the future liberator of their people. The people of Israel have been dominated for centuries by other peoples. (Assyrians, Babylonians, Syrians, Egyptians, Romans) So, historical events led to interpreting the prophecies as related to a political liberating Messiah, able to restore the independence of the ancient kingdom of David and Solomon. It was not easy for Jesus to say that the authentic message of the prophets meant a different kind of liberation, a deeper and more spiritual liberation; For this reason, He did not want to reveal Himself suddenly as the Christ, the expected Messiah. He did not want to raise false hopes and thus nullify His work.
Hence the recommendation of silence.

However, the time had come to explain to the apostles that Jesus was not a new prophet of a future Messiah, but Jesus Himself was the Messiah: He was not the one who announced another person but He was the one who was announced. He had not come to make a political revolution. That is why He began to teach them that “the Son of Man" (it’s the way Jesus used to talk about Himself) "
must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” He was not to liberate Israel from foreign domination. His adversaries were the leaders of His own people, who would even seek to eliminate Him. This was an unacceptable speech, for those who had a different idea of ​​the Messiah as we have previously said. So, there was Peter intervening impulsively, who "took Him aside and began to reproach Him". Peter did not reflect, He did not try to understand and cooperate with the Master, but he considered the current opinion  as good and wanted to prevent everything that could oppose it: if He is the Messiah, He does not have to say those things!

The reaction of Jesus is very severe ("Get behind me Satan ") but there is an illuminating motivation that is always valid for everyone: " For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man ".

Setting our mind on the things of God: this should be the greatest aspiration for a man, for a Christian. Aware that our intelligence has its potentialities, but also its limits, we should use it not to stubbornly achieve our views, but to understand and accomplish the Will of Him who does not make mistakes, and only wants our true, authentic good.

On November 19, 1921, Luisa reported a beautiful teaching of Jesus concerning the knowledge of Truth. Thinking of Jesus' question to the apostles about His identity, we should ask ourselves what is necessary to know the Truth. Jesus in this passage explained to Luisa that in order to know the truths, it is necessary to have the will, the desire, to know them. Imagine a room in which the shutters are closed: as much sunlight as there might be outside, the room remains always in the dark.

Now, opening the shutters means wanting the light. But this is not enough, if one does not take advantage of the light to reorder the room, dust it, get down to work, almost so as not to kill the light that one is given, and render oneself ungrateful. In the same way, it is not enough to have the will to know the truths, if in the light of the truth that illuminates him one does not try to dust himself of his weaknesses, and reorder himself according to the light of the truth he knows, and, together with the light of the truth, get down to work, making of it his own substance, in such a way that the light of the truth which he has absorbed may shine forth from his mouth, from his hands, from his bearing. It would then be as if he killed the truth; and by not putting it into practice, it would be like remaining in total disorder before the light. Poor room, full of light, but all messy, upside down, and in total disorder, and someone in it who does not bother reordering it – what pity would it not arouse? Such is one who knows the truths and does not put them into practice.

In all the truths simplicity enters as the first nourishment. If the truths were not simple, they would not be light, and would not be able to penetrate into the human minds in order to illuminate them; and where there is no light, objects cannot be distinguished. Simplicity is not only light, but is like the air that one breathes which, while it cannot be seen, gives the respiration to everything; and if it wasn’t for the air, the earth and everyone would remain without motion. So, if the virtues, the truths, do not carry the mark of simplicity, they will be without light and without air.


don Marco
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Last comments 1 of 1
- 9/14/2018
Thank you very much, don Marco, for your teachings each week - it is so good to have a man teach the Divine Will with Holy Scripture and The Book of Heaven. Are you a Priest? Pax et Bonum,