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Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

The victory of God's happiness

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Brothers and sisters, Fiat!

After the Christmas season ordinary life returns with its rhythms and the normality of haste and of the commitments of everyone. This is why the words of the Scriptures that the Liturgy proposes to us today, might seem inappropriate to us: "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy. " Of what light is it spoken in this dark time, and what is this joy in a life that has returned to banality and ordinary difficulties? These are the questions that the ordinary man asks in the face of the economic crisis and the TV news, in a political climate that is so degraded.

In truth, we often prefer to cultivate a sense of sadness and dissatisfaction, because it puts us away from the need to compare ourselves with the newness of the Gospel. Those who are happy and those who are well can help others and take care of them, but those who are sick are not required to do so.We prefer to cultivate discomfort, lament, dissatisfaction because they put others in a position of taking care of us, enough to feel sorry for us, and so we are free from all obligations. Of course, we don’t always think of this, because, over time, it becomes a habit and a spontaneous way of being. But we should ask ourselves: is it worth living like that? Is it Worth rejecting the proposal to live in joy and with a light that illuminates our way, rather than in the grayness of a life that is always insatisfied?

But where does this joy come from? The prophet Isaiah speaks of a joy that comes from the harvest and distribution of the war booty,"they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder." It’s a happiness that comes from having sown, with patience and perseverance. It comes from having cultivated, from having tilled the land and uprooted the weeds so that one can now finally enjoy the results of the work done. It is a joy that comes from having fought a good fight against the evil force that crushes the weak, against the resignation condemning everything to always remain the same, against the temptation of selfishness and of the closure and finally to be able to share the spoils of a life freed from evil and made more good.

The Gospel tells us that the seed is the Word of God. It, at Christmas, was made flesh, that is, it has become something that everyone can meet, listen and experience. It was sown in the ground, we too saw that it in the poverty of a manger was offered to us as Good News:at first God was distant and unknowable, He is now within our reach, near and helpful. So the apostles met Him on the shore of Lake Galilee, as a word addressed to them, a direct and demanding word: "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men". Without half measures or reassuring preambles, Jesus speaks and asks to follow Him, He asks us not to stand firm on the on the seashore but to put out into the deep. There, there are fish, there we can make the abundant fishing that feeds so many people and gives joy. It’s true, on the shore it is safer and less tiring, but is it worth spending your life to prepare your nets, bent over your little things, arranging your business, without ever putting out into the deep and plunging into the wide horizons of life beyond yourself?

Peter, Andrew, James and John trusted that word and the Gospel tells us that they kept it as a precious seed sown in their lives. Their life was hard, they were always traveling and willing to meet the needs of their brothers and sisters, but their life was full and happy, not whiny or sad. They were able to fight the good fight against the selfish instincts and the difficult nature of each of them and at the end they obtained a life blessed by God as a spoil.

Why don’t we make this perspective ours? Complaint and dissatisfaction are as a prison that shuts us in to make us feel more sheltered and safe, but then it becomes a cage that takes away the freedom to be happy. We welcome with joy the release that the Lord Jesus came to bring us: we can escape the sad fate, and we can cultivate day by day a new life, sources of peace, seeds of generosity, plants that become trees able to give relief and shelter to so many people.

A life lived in this way is the fullness of God’s joy, it is the song of His victory over evil and world. When the Divine Will dominates on earth, then will there be perfect union between Heaven and earth. One will be the order, one the harmony, one the echo, one the life, because one will be the Will. Even more, in Heaven many mirrors will be seen, and the creatures, reflecting themselves in them, will look at what the Blessed in Heaven are doing.They will hear their chants, their celestial melodies, and by them imitating what they do - their chants, their melodies - there will be the life of Heaven in the midst of creatures.

The “Divine Fiat” will place everything in common, and there will be the true life of the Fiat Voluntas Tua on earth as It is in Heaven. Then The Divine Volition will sing victory, and the creature will sing the hymn of her triumph.

The human will has produced so much evil as to form the unhappy state of the poor creature; it changed her lot, her fortune. Since God is happy by nature, everything that came out of His creative hands in Creation, came out with the fullness of happiness; therefore, everywhere, inside and outside of man, perennial joy and happiness flew.

The human will, instead, drove this sea of true and perpetual peace out of itself, which, driven out, took refuge in the womb of its Creator, who had delivered it so that all of His works might be happy. To see man unhappy, to see that the sea of His happiness is not enjoyed by the one who was the owner of it, is always a sorrow for Him.

Now, one who lives in the Divine Will calls this sea of happiness once again into herself, she removes from God the sight of the unhappiness in the poor creatures, and she makes Him twice as happy, because He sees that God’s happiness follows its way toward His children. Therefore the Divine Will will put all things in place and will remove the unhappiness produced by the human will which, with its poisonous slobber, knows how to embitter everything and make everything turbid.

What a consolation for a father to have and see the crown of his children – all happy, rich, healthy, beautiful, always smiling, never crying! how God enjoys, and feels Himself swimming in his own happiness and that of children! He feels within Him the happiness of His children, because it is His own thing and can enter into Him; while unhappiness is something extraneous to Him, which does not belong to Him and has no way to enter into Him. He feels the sorrow of seeing it, but not of feeling it, and as Father, He loves and wants everyone to be happy.

Let‘s make Isaiah‘s exultation ours:"you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor." Yes, God frees us from the yoke, from the bar and rod if we, with readiness, deepen our love for Him and His Word, more than for ourselves and our sadness.

don Marco
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