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Baptism of the Lord

1/10/2020
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Dear Brothers and Sisters, Fiat!

Today, the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus, the Gospel (Mt 3:13-17) describes the scene which occurred at the River Jordan: Jesus, too, is in the midst of the penitent crowd which approaches John the Baptist to receive baptism. He stood in line. John would like to prevent him from [being baptized], saying: “I need to be baptized by you” (3:14). The Baptist, indeed, is aware of the great distance there is between him and Jesus. But Jesus has come precisely to bridge the gap between man and God: if He is completely on God’s side, He is also completely on mankind’s side, and reunites what had been separated. For this reason he asks John to baptize him, so that all righteousness may be fulfilled (cf. v. 15), namely, that the plan of God may be fulfilled, the plan which passes by way of obedience and solidarity with fragile and sinful mankind, the way of humility and of God’s full closeness to his children. Because God is very close to us, very close!

The work of the Redemption has as its purpose precisely to annul the enormous distance that sin has created between Creator and creature. On May 26, 1927, Jesus encouraged Luisa to look at the whole Creation – the heavens, the innumerable stars, the sun, the wind, the sea, the flowery fields, the mountains and the valleys. These are all rooms that God formed; and in each room He formed His royal palace to make of it His dwelling. And this, in order to make it easier for man, so that wherever he wanted to come to find his God, He would give him the chance to find Him immediately and everywhere. God placed Himself in each room in the act of waiting for man, leaving all the rooms open, so as not to give him the bother of having to knock, but so that he might enter freely - as many times as he wanted, He would be ready to receive him.

The Creator of Heaven and earth did not place Himself at one point only - but everywhere, so that man might find Him always; and He placed these rooms so close to each other so as to form many shortcuts, because between Creator and creature there is to be no distance, but closeness and communion. So, all these rooms were, and are, relations, bonds and ways between God and man.

But who was to maintain these relations in force, strengthen these bonds, order the ways, open the doors? The Divine Will reigning in man would take on this commitment so important, of maintaining the order of all Creation, just as We issued It. As the creature withdrew from the Divine Fiat, the relations were no longer in force, the bonds were loosened, the ways barred, the doors closed. She lost her dear inheritance, she remained stripped of all goods; each step was a lace at her feet, to make her fall. By not doing the Divine Will, one loses everything and there is no good left to him; while by doing It, one acquires everything and there is no good which is not given back to him.

At the moment in which Jesus, baptized by John, comes out of the waters of the River Jordan, the voice of God the Father is heard from on high: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (v. 17). At the same time the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, alights upon Jesus, who publicly begins his mission of salvation; a mission characterized by a manner: the way of a humble and gentle servant, armed only with the power of truth, as Isaiah had prophesied: “He will not cry or lift up his voice, … a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice” (42:2-3). A humble and gentle servant.

This is Jesus’ way, as well as the manner of Christ’s disciples’ missionary work: To proclaim the Gospel with gentleness, but also firmness, without shouting, without reprimanding anyone, but gently and firmly, without arrogance or imposition. The true mission is never proselytism, but drawing people to Christ. But how? How is this attraction to Christ achieved? With one’s own witness, starting from the unwavering union with him in prayer, in adoration and in concrete works of charity, which is service to Jesus present in the least of his brothers and sisters. In imitation of Jesus, the good and merciful Shepherd, and moved by his grace, we are called to make our life a joyous testimony that illuminates the way, that brings hope and love.

This feast makes us rediscover the gift and the beauty of being a community of baptized, that is, of sinners — we all are sinners — saved by the grace of Christ, truly integrated, by the work of the Holy Spirit, in the filial relationship of Jesus with the Father, welcomed into the bosom of Mother Church, making possible a brotherhood that knows no barriers or borders.

don Marco
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- 1/12/2020
This is great. But admonishing sinners is a Spiritual Work if Mercy, with love and gentleness of course. Love. Fiat! Vic Melfa