Go back to the gospels

XVI Sunday in Ordinary Time

Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while

7/19/2018
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Dear brothers and sisters, Fiat!

Today's first reading is taken from the book of the prophet Jeremiah (23: 1-6). He speaks in the name of the God of Israel and threatens lots of trouble for the bad “shepherds” of his people. He also announces the arrival of the “good shepherd” many centuries before; a shepherd according  to God’s heart; this shepherd, then, in turn would have sent others like Him.

 

It is easy to understand that the prophecy has come true with Jesus. The passage of the Gospel (Mk 6,30-34) even if it is short, allows us to grasp twice the attitude of the authentic Shepherd, His sensitivity, the delicacy of His feelings, the attention to the difficult situation of the one he faces.

Firstly the apostles are involved. On return from the mission of which the Gospel spoke last Sunday, the apostles report all they did and taught. Jesus understanding their fatigue tells them: "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while ". What a man full of Kindness! Jesus does not consider His collaborators as employees to be exploited, if they get tired, worse for them! We are reminded of the many pages of history that speak of the enslavement of an incalculable number of unfortunate people: slaves, for example. Slavery has not disappeared, even in a country like ours that is considered civilized. When people allow themselves to be dominated by the demon of money or power, they don’t stop even before the sufferings of their fellowmen, they lose the feeling of “compassion”, a noun that comes from Latin and means to love together with.

 

"Come aside, rest a while": Jesus and the apostles are by the lake; They go off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place, but when they reach there, they find so many people who, seeing  them leaving, arrived at the place before them. " When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.
" This second example of Jesus’s sensitivity does not concern the labor of those who work well, but the confusion of those who do not know how to operate, "the lost flock" that is formed by many men looking for a guide, a person who knows how to give a meaning to their lives. It is the confusion of those who wonder why they are in the world, or wonder about their daily sufferings, without finding an answer. So, by not finding any answer they drag their days apathetically and engulf themselves in disappointing or even self-injurious experiences. In this way they bask in perpetual lamentations, or they close themselves into a melancholy that sometimes goes into despair. Perhaps they are precisely those who think to give a meaning to their lives by dominating others.


Yet, we have the guide to overcome our  difficulties,  Jesus is our guide. He "began to teach them". Those who accept His teachings can show how wise and essential they are for the life of men; The teachings of Jesus, in fact, are able to value the best of our human nature, to direct us towards a full and fulfilling life, far from illusory sequins and depressing shadows and darkness. So, there is the guide; it’s the Shepherd, the "good" Shepherd, but it is up to us to choose Him as a guide. Jesus is a Shepherd so attentive that He arranges other shepherds for all generations, to continue His work. These shepherds are the successors of the first ones that He sent and then invited to rest. To rest "a little", to resume immediately afterwards, with new vigor and renewed fidelity, the mission that they received.

 

In the passage of February 22, 1924, Jesus speaks of His teaching on the Divine Will.

Saint Hannibal Mary of France chose that passage as an introduction to the edition of Luisa’s writings.

 

When Jesus came upon earth, man was so engulfed in evil and so full of human will, that the living in the Divine Will could find no place. So, in the Redemption, first Jesus impetrated for him the grace of resignation to the Divine Will, because in the state he was in, he was incapable of receiving the greatest gift – the living in the Divine Will. And then Jesus impetrated for him the greatest grace, as crown and fulfillment of all graces – the living in the Divine Will, so that God’s pure joys of Creation and His innocent amusements would resume their course once again on the face of the earth. Many twenty centuries passed since the true and pure joys of Creation were interrupted, because God did not find sufficient capacity, total stripping of the human will, to be able to entrust the property of the Divine Will. Now, in order to do this, the Holy Trinity had to choose a creature who would be more proximate and associated with the human generations.

Had Jesus placed His Mama as the example, they would have felt very distant from Her, and would have said: ‘How could She not live in the Divine Will, since She was exempt from any stain, even of origin?’ Therefore, they would have shrugged their shoulders, and would not have given it a thought. And if Jesus had placed His Humanity as the example, they would have been frightened even more, and would have said: ‘He was God and Man, and since the Divine Will was His own Life, it is no wonder that He lived in the Supreme Volition.’ Therefore, so that this living in the Divine Will might have life in the Church, He was to go down the ladder, descend lower, and choose a creature from their midst. Providing her with sufficient graces, and making His way into her soul, He was to empty her of everything, making her understand the great evil of the human will, so that she would abhor it so much as to choose death rather than doing her own will.

Then, giving her the gift of the Divine Will, assuming the attitude of teacher, Jesus made her understand all the beauty, the power, the effects, the value, and the way in which she was to live in the Eternal Will. So that she might live in It, Jesus established in her the law of the Divine Will. He acted as in a second Redemption, in which He established the Gospel, the Sacraments, the teachings, as primary life in order to be able to continue the Redemption. Had Jesus left nothing as the foundation, what would creatures cling to? What to do? So Jesus did for the living in the Divine Will. How many teachings has He not given us? How many times has He not led Luisa by the hand in the eternal flights in the Divine Volition; and she, hovering over the whole Creation, has brought the pure joys of Creation to the feet of the Divinity, and God amused Himself with her?

Now, because God chose Luisa, a creature who apparently had no great disparity from them, they will take courage; and finding the teachings, the way, and knowing the great good contained in the living in the Divine Will, they will make it their own, and so the pure joys of Creation and God’s innocent amusements will no longer be broken on the face of the earth. And even if there should be but one for each generation to live in the Divine Will, it will always be feast for God, and in the feasts there is always a greater display, and one is more generous in giving.

Therefore, we should be attentive to Jesus’ teachings, because this is about letting Him found a law -not terrestrial, but celestial; not a law of mere sanctity, but a divine law - a law which will no longer let one distinguish the terrestrial citizens from the celestial ones; a law of love which, destroying everything that can prevent, even in the slightest, the union of the creature with her Creator, will place all His goods in common, removing from her all the weaknesses and miseries of original sin. The law of the Divine Will will place so much strength in the soul, as to serve her as sweet enchantment, in such a way as to put to sleep the evils of her nature and substitute them with the sweet enchantment of the divine goods. How many times Luisa saw Jesus write in the depth of her soul - it was the new law of the living in the Will; and first Jesus delighted in writing it, in order to expand Luisa’s capacity, and then He took the attitude of teacher in order to explain it to her.

Therefore, we should rest, secure, always in the Divine Will.

don Marco
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