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XXV Sunday in Ordinary Time

A yardstick to measure who is the greatest

9/16/2021
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Dear brothers and sisters, Fiat!

We heard it last Sunday: Jesus even called the apostle Peter "Satan". because instead of "thinking according to God" Peter was pursuing his own human calculations. This was not enough: in today's gospel (Mk 9:30-37) we find Jesus intent on instructing the apostles, in particular He prepares them for the coming events, so different from those they expected from the Messiah. Here is where Jesus reiterates, "the Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men and they will kill him; but once he is killed, he will rise again after three days....

This prediction of His Passover clashes with the crude humanity of those whom He Himself has chosen as His first collaborators. They insist on clinging to the current opinion of a political Messiah, who, having driven out the occupying Romans, will restore the ancient kingdom of Israel, independent and glorious as that of David and Solomon. They are so entrenched in this perspective, that instead of paying attention to the words of the Messiah, they argue among themselves about who is the greatest, and therefore who will have the most important place in the all earthly kingdom that the Messiah as they believe is going to found.

Perhaps we would respond to such narrow-mindedness with some bad words. Instead, Jesus patiently explains again and, as the ancient prophets used to do, accompanies his words with an illustrative gesture: he embraces a child and invites them to do the same, for his sake. At that time, children had no juridical or social relevance; therefore, a child lent itself to be the symbol of the marginalized, of the many who "do not count". In that child, Jesus embraces them all, and invites all his followers to do the same.

What a change of perspective! The greatest are those who welcome into their minds and hearts those who do not enjoy privileges, those in society who are one step (or two, or three, and often more) behind others. In the new world that Jesus establishes, the importance of a person is not measured by his power, his money, his success, but by his willingness, his commitment to do justice, to alleviate the conditions of those who are less fortunate....

So did Jesus, and after Him a host of men and women who have tried to imitate Him. By virtue of their commitment, this revolutionary principle has changed the world in two thousand years; today formally everyone, and not only Christians, condemn certain attitudes and standards of life that were once considered normal (discrimination against women, child abuse, slavery, despotism, etc.). At least in words, today everyone recognizes that hunger in the world is the result of an injustice to be healed, and it is clear that those in authority should not work for their own benefit but for the common good. In short, over the ancient criterion of exploiting others to one's own advantage (or, when it was good, of indifference to the conditions of others) today the purely Christian criterion of serving triumphs. It triumphs in the enunciations of laws and in public declarations; if, however, one looks at the facts, one runs the risk of becoming depressed by noting their divergence from the principles.

The result is a commitment on the part of every person who wishes to be such to adapt his or her behavior to the principles that an honest intelligence recognizes as just. And this is true in the first place for the Church, which has always proclaimed authority as service (its highest authority, the Pope, officially bears the title of "servant of the servants of God") and provides figures specifically appointed for this purpose (they are still little known, but there are permanent deacons among us: and the specific task of the deacon is precisely to serve). However, this commitment also applies to other Christians, to all the baptized, if they wish to consider themselves followers of the Son of God, who came among us, as he himself declared (Mk 10:45), not to be served but to serve. Even to the point of giving his life.

In the passage of November 10, 1929, Jesus tells Luisa that in the Divine Fiat, only the little ones enter to live in Its Light; and at every act that these little ones do in the Divine Will, they suffocate their own, giving a sweet death to the human will, because in His there is no room nor place to let it operate. The human volition has no reason nor right, it loses its value before a Will, reason and right which are Divine. It happens between the Divine Will and the human as it could happen to a little boy to whom, on his own, it seems he is able to say and capable of doing something, but if he is placed near someone who possesses all sciences and is skillful in the arts, the poor little one loses his value, remains mute, and is incapable of doing anything; and he remains fascinated and enchanted by the lovely speaking and fine operating of the scientist. This is what happens: the little one without the great one feels he is something, but before the great one he feels more little than he is. More so before the height and immensity of the Divine Will.

As many times as the soul operates in the Divine Will, she empties herself of her own and forms as many doors to let God’s Will enter. It happens as to a house which could possess a sun inside: the more doors it has, the more rays come out through each door. Or to a piece metal which had holes, and were placed in front of the sun: the more holes it has, the more each little hole is filled with light and possesses the ray of light. Such is the soul; the more acts she does in the Divine Will, the more entrances she gives It, in such a way as to become all irradiated by the light of the Divine Fiat.”

 

don Marco
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