VIII Sunday in Ordinary Time
God is more than a mother to her child
Dear brothers and sisters, Fiat!
One of the most moving words of Sacred Scripture rings out in today’s Liturgy. The Holy Spirit has given it to us through the pen of the prophet Isaiah”. To console Jerusalem, broken by misfortunes, he says: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you”. This invitation to trust in God’s steadfast love is juxtaposed with the equally evocative passage from the Gospel of Matthew in which Jesus urges his disciples to trust in the Providence of the heavenly Father, who feeds the birds of the air and clothes the lilies of the field and knows all our needs. This is what Jesus says: “Therefore do not be anxious, saying ‘what shall we eat?’ or ‘what shall we wear?’. For the Gentiles seek all these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all”
In the face of the situations of so many people, near and far, who live in wretchedness, J esus’ discourse might appear hardly realistic, if not evasive. In fact, the Lord wants to make people understand clearly that it is impossible to serve two masters: God and riches. Whoever believes in God, the Father full of love for his children, puts first the search for his Kingdom and his will. And this is precisely the opposite of fatalism or ingenuous irenics. Faith in Providence does not in fact dispense us from the difficult struggle for a dignified life but frees us from the yearning for things and from fear of the future.
It is clear that although Jesus’ teaching remains ever true and applicable for all it is practised in different ways according to the different vocations: a Franciscan friar will be able to follow it more radically while a father of a family must bear in mind his proper duties to his wife and children.
In every case, however, Christians are distinguished by their absolute trust in the heavenly Father, as was Jesus. It was precisely Christ’s relationship with God the Father that gave meaning to the whole of his life, to his words, to his acts of salvation until his Passion, death and Resurrection. Jesus showed us what it means to live with our feet firmly planted on the ground, attentive to the concrete situations of our neighbour yet at the same time keeping our heart in Heaven, immersed in God’s mercy and in full confidence of his love ,without fear.
Jesus explained to Luisa that fear, be it even holy fear, is always human virtue, it breaks the flight of love and gives rise to dread and hardship in walking on the way of good; it causes one to always look to the right and to the left, reaching the point of fearing the One who so much loves her; it takes away the sweet enchantment from the trust that makes her live in the arms of her Jesus; and if she fears too much, fear disperses Jesus and causes her to live of herself.
On the other hand, love is divine virtue, and with its fire it possesses the purifying virtue to purify the soul from any stain; it unites her and transforms her into her Jesus, and gives her such trust as to let herself be captivated by her Jesus. The sweet enchantment of trust is such and so great that they captivate each other, so much so, that one cannot be without the other; and if she looks, she looks only to love the One who so much loves her.
So, the whole of her being is enclosed in love; and since love is the inseparable child of the Divine Will, it therefore gives the first place of dominion to the Divine Will. It extends within all the acts of the creature, both human and spiritual; It ennobles everything, and even though the human acts remain in the shape and matter with which they were formed, and they undergo no external change, all the change lies in the depth of the human will, because everything she does, even the most indifferent things, is changed into divine and confirmed by the Divine Will. Its crafting is incessant, and It extends Its dwelling of peace over everything that the creature does.
And as True Mother It does nothing other than enrich with Divine Conquests Its dear daughter.
Therefore, let’s banish all fear. In the Divine Will neither fear nor dread, nor lack of trust, have any reason to exist; they are things that do not belong to us, and we must do nothing other than live of Jesus’ love and of the Divine Will. One of the purest joys that the creature can give is trust in God. He feels her as His daughter and He does with her anything He wants. Trust reveals Who God is – the immense Being, goodness unending, mercy with no limits; and the more trust God finds, the more He loves her and the more He abounds toward creatures.
Let us learn to live in accordance with a simpler and more modest style, in daily hard work and with respect for creation, which God has entrusted to us for safekeeping.