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Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Announcement of the Kingdom

1/19/2023
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Dear Brothers and Sisters, Fiat!

Today’s Gospel passage (cf. Mt 4:12-23) recounts the beginning of Jesus’ preaching in Galilee. He leaves Nazareth, a village in the mountains, and settles in Capernaum, an important centre on the lakeshore, inhabited largely by pagans, a crossroads between the Mediterranean and the Mesopotamian inland. This choice indicates that the beneficiaries of his preaching are not only his compatriots, but those who arrive in the cosmopolitan “Galilee of the Gentiles” (v. 15, cf. Is 9:1): that’s what it was called. Seen from the capital Jerusalem, that land is geographically peripheral and religiously impure because it was full of pagans, having mixed with those who did not belong to Israel. Great things were not expected from Galilee for the history of salvation. Instead, right from there — precisely from there — radiated that “light” on which we meditated in recent Sundays: the light of Christ. It radiated right from the periphery.

Jesus’ message reiterates that of the Baptist, announcing the “kingdom of heaven” (v. 17). This kingdom does not involve the establishment of a new political power, but the fulfillment of the Covenant between God and his people, which inaugurates a season of peace and justice. To secure this covenant pact with God, each one is called to convert, transforming his or her way of thinking and living. This is important: converting is not only changing the way of life but also the way of thinking. It is a transformation of thought. It is not a matter of changing clothing, but habits! What differentiates Jesus from John the Baptist is the way and manner. Jesus chooses to be an itinerant prophet. He doesn’t stay and await people, but goes to encounter them. Jesus is always on the road! His first missionary appearances take place along the lake of Galilee, in contact with the multitude, in particular with the fishermen. There Jesus does not only proclaim the coming of the kingdom of God, but seeks companions to join in his salvific mission. In this very place he meets two pairs of brothers: Simon and Andrew, James and John. He calls them, saying: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (v. 19). The call reaches them in the middle of their daily activity: the Lord reveals himself to us not in an extraordinary or impressive way, but in the everyday circumstances of our life. There we must discover the Lord; and there he reveals himself, makes his love felt in our heart; and there — with this dialogue with him in the everyday circumstances of life — he changes our heart. The response of the four fishermen is immediate and willing: “Immediately they left their nets and followed him” (v. 20). We know, in fact, that they were disciples of the Baptist and that, thanks to his witness, they had already begun to believe in Jesus as the Messiah (cf. Jn 1:35-42).

We, today’s Christians, have the joy of proclaiming and witnessing to our faith because there was that first announcement, because there were those humble and courageous men who responded generously to Jesus’ call. On the shores of the lake, in an inconceivable land, the first community of disciples of Christ was born. May the knowledge of these beginnings give rise in us to the desire to bear Jesus’ word, love and tenderness in every context, even the most difficult and resistant. To carry the Word to all the peripheries! All the spaces of human living are soil on which to cast the seeds of the Gospel, so they may bear the fruit of salvation.

In the passage of January 18, 1928 Luisa is thinking about the utility of the writings on the Divine Will, Jesus replies to her saying that all of His works hold hands, and this is the sign that they are God’s works – that one does not oppose the other; on the contrary, they are so bound among themselves, that they sustain one another. This is so true that, having to form His chosen people, from which and within which the future Messiah was to be born, from that same people Jesus formed the priesthood, which instructed the people and prepared them for the great good of Redemption. Jesus gave them laws, manifestations and inspirations, upon which the Sacred Scriptures were formed, called the Bible; and all were intent on the study of It. Then, with His coming upon earth, Jesus did not destroy Sacred Scriptures; on the contrary, He supported them; and the Gospel, which Jesus announced, opposed them in nothing; on the contrary, they sustained each other in an admirable way. And in forming the new nascent Church, Jesus formed the new priesthood, which does not detach itself either from Sacred Scriptures or from the Gospel. All are intent upon them in order to instruct the peoples; and it can be said that anyone who did not want to draw from this salutary fount does not belong to God, because these are the basis of His Church and the very life with which the peoples are formed.

Now, that which Jesus manifests on the Divine Will, and which Luisa writes, can be called ‘the Gospel of the Kingdom of the Divine Will’. In nothing does It oppose either Sacred Scriptures or the Gospel which Jesus announced while being on earth; on the contrary, It can be called the support of one and of the other. And this is why Jesus allows and He calls priests to come – to read the Gospel, all of Heaven, of the Kingdom of the Divine Fiat, so as to say, as He said to the Apostles: ‘Preach It throughout the whole world.’ In fact, in His works He makes use of the priesthood; and just as He had the priesthood before He coming in order to prepare the people, and the priesthood of His Church in order to confirm His coming and everything He did and said, so will He has the priesthood of the Kingdom of His Will. Here is the utility of the many things He have manifested to Luisa, the many surprising truths, the promises of the so many goods which He must give to the children of the Fiat Voluntas Tua: they will be the Gospel, the basis, the inexhaustible fount from which all will draw the celestial life, the terrestrial happiness and the restoration of their creation. How happy they will feel – those who, with yearning, will drink in large gulps from these founts of God’s  knowledges; because they contain the virtue of bringing the life of Heaven, and of banishing any unhappiness.

don Marco
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- 1/24/2020
I enjoyed this commentary and learned many new things. Thank you.