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Feb 19

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VII Sunday in Ordinary Time – 2017

VII Sunday in Ordinary Time

We are children of a Father to be taken as a model

Dear brothers and sisters, Fiat!

The love of neighbor was already recommended in ancient Israel,as reported in the first reading (Lev. 19); but the concept of “neighbor” concerned only compatriots: “Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart.Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people.”With Jesus, things have changed, as today’s Gospel (Mt 5:38 – 48), testifies on the subject, since it presents two essential features of the Christian revolution in social relations.

Continuing to explain the deeper meaning, the fulfillment of the precepts that were already in the Old Testament, Jesus invites us to overcome the so-called law of retaliation (“an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth”), and He commands: no revenge, never violence, even to those who have harmed us. Indeed, He said, “Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute”, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, and thus take Him as a role model.

No violence, but love for all: a true revolution, which, even though it is far from being fully realized, it has already made this world, although all its ugly things, certainly better than two thousand years ago. This is evidenced at least by the fact that while oppression, abuse, exploitation, in short the violence of the strong over the weak once was considered normal, civilized countries have now abolished it in their legislation, and when it happens, it arouses in all at least a start  of consciousness and the formal condemnation

The underlying reason for these teachings of Jesus lies in His appeal to the dignity of man, who God has adopted as a son. In the second reading (1 Corinthians 3:16-23) Paul reiterates it strongly: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.. ” And again, at the end of the passage: “all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God. “

Temple of God! Jesus’ listeners knew only one Temple, that of Jerusalem. It was the center of their lives, pride of the nation, place of the mysterious but real presence of God among His people, a most holy place, where nothing and nobody that could desecrate it was admitted. Today, even because of Paul’s words, the concept oftemple according to the Christians has changed; more than being the dwelling of God, it is the house where the faithful gather to celebrate Him.

The Church founded by Jesus Christ is not a stone building, it is made up of all Its  faithful; then the word was used to designate the buildings where the members of the Church usually gather. So the churches are made for men; As the dwelling-place of God, He is pleased to dwell in man,more than between four walls, that is in the only creature that He made in his image and likeness, that He made able to communicate with Him and receive His gifts; the only creature authorized to call Him Father.

All the care that instinctively men dedicated to the stone temples should not prevail over the attentions for the true temple that is made up of body and soul, of intelligence and heart. If God dwells in man, an incomparable dignity is given to man, that nobody is allowed to crush, not the state, for example with the practice of torture, denial of freedom to citizens, or by tolerating situations of injustice; not the individual,  by adopting behaviors that in fact do not recognize that dignityin other people:it will be permissible to protect one’s good right, but never offending, cheating, taking advantage of the neighbor, and even neglecting his difficulties, when you are able to alleviate them. Nor it will be permitted to trample our own dignity: no matter whether in public or in private, the consciousness of being the temple of God prevents us to dishearten ourselves with thoughts and actions that we would be ashamed to show even to our earthly father.

Luisa lived her life in the full knowledge that the Lord Jesus was always with her, she was aware that her heart was the permanent dwelling of the presence of Jesus’ love within her. For this reason, Luisa in her writings repeatedly describedher affliction when she didn’t feel the Lord inside her. She felt tortured, exhausted of strength, so much so, that as she had tried to write what Jesus had told her in the previous days, she felt herself in the impossibility of doing it. So, Jesus,seeing that she could not, and the great efforts she was making in order to write, came and consoled her with His loving presence and His words.

What martyrs Luisa is the Divine Will, that is immense and eternal, and therefore her littleness feels all the weight of Its immensity, and feels itself being crushed under It.

But this is God’s great love for Luisa and its light wants to restore, not only her soul, but also her body. It wants to as though pulverize it; and animating the atoms of her dust with Its light, with Its heat, It wants to remove any germ or humor of human will, so that both her soul and her body, everything, may be sacred in her. It wants to tolerate nothing, not even one atom of her being, which would not be animated and consecrated by the Divine Will.

Therefore, her hard martyrdom is nothing other than the consummation of what does not belong to It. The human will is the profaner of the creature. When it has its little ways, the slightest holes through which to enter into her, it profanes the holiest things, the most innocent ones. And God’s Will, which made of man Its sacred and living temple, in which to place Its throne, Its dwelling, Its regime, Its glory, feels that if the creature gives the little entries to the human volition, It feels Its temple, Its throne,Its dwelling, Its regime and Its very glory being profaned.

God’ Will wants to touch everything about the creature – even God’s very presence, to see whether Its dominion is absolute over her and she content herself that It alone dominate her and have primacy in her. Everything in the creature must be Divine Will, so that It may be able to say: “I am sure, she has denied Me nothing – not even the sacrifice of the presence of her Jesus, whom she loved more than herself.Therefore, my Kingdom is safe.”

 

don Marco

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2017/02/19/vii-sunday-in-ordinary-time-2017/