HOMILY ON 13TH MAY 1981 AT 10.30
Today we concentrate on the great apocalyptic mystery that doesn't only draw the figure of the Blessed Virgin but it also announces the terrible development of Her great mission and of the great mission of the Man who came from Her bosom: Jesus Christ, the Word made Flesh, God who becomes a Man.
When God arrived with His rod and punished it, it was because His people had betrayed, one way or the other, the Lord's law. Then this ark that was upheld or carried by the Levites (they were precise bearers and they all belonged to religion) well, whenever this ark arrived there God's blessing was with it. And when they were walking in the desert, it was a mark, the only mark of concentration, of meditation and of hopes of the whole chosen people.
This apparition of the ark in the sky, in the Temple, was almost overwhelmed by another apparition. A sun-clad woman, with the moon under Her feet and on Her head a crown with twelve stars; she was pregnant and crying for the labour pains.
Are these two apparitions? No. It's only one apparition. The ark was but the image of the Holy Virgin. The Woman in the sky is the realization of the ark: it's the Virgin. It was no longer the ark which had God's law, the manna as a a memory and so on; it was the Blessed Virgin, the Virgin who was carrying in Her bosom the Author of everything, of every creation, of every power. And we know that this happened according to the announcement in the Gospel, in Saint Luke's Gospel. When the Angel appeared to the Virgin and said :" Hail oh full of grace, may God be with You".
Now She had found God's Grace, and what was happening? That the Lord will shade You with His power, the Holy Spirit will create in Your bosom, by His divine power, the visible presence of the human body , of the Redeemer of whom ( one and only Person) is the divinity and divinity is His united and almost indissoluble companion. So the Word made Man, God made man as only God can miraculously make, in the Virgin's bosom.
It says she was sun-clad. It's also a visible expression, as much visible as it is possible to explain to men. In the Apostle Saint John's vision , that is the apocalypse - because this is a book, a terribly stable, revealed and sure book - in this vision the sun-clad Woman is the Virgin.
Why is She sun-clad? But because saying Her yes to the Lord, ready to become God's Mother, God clothes Her in His light and the apostle doesn't know how to express it and as the greatest light under our eyes is the sun light, this is the image. And the visual revelation in the apocalypse is just that of a big sun that clothes the Holy Virgin. But She also had the moon underneath, the moon was under Her feet. That is, the moon is the sign of vicissitudes, of mutations, of all those strange things that man connects to the moon, it's mad, it's moody, we usually say. The moon in its changes gives this sense to human tradition.
The Virgin had put these changes, these mutations typical of the moon and of the world oppressed by the original sin, She had put all this under Her feet, and it was similar to a snake, and so on.
And it's the Virgin, and She is pregnant and crying for the labour pains. Why? She must give birth to God made Man. Why did she labour to do this? Well, no, she didn't labour. This is an indicative expression. What was She crying for? She was crying for what would come afterwards. In his apocalypse the apostle John tells us that another sign came from the sky. An enormous red dragon. The red is strange! It had seven heads and ten horns and on the heads the crowns and its tail was dragging down one third of the stars in Heaven and it was throwing them on the earth.
What is this dragon? It is no more no less than Satan. Satan who, with the strength of a rebel, dragged down one third of the stars of heaven. Who are the stars of heaven mentioned in the apocalypse? They are the Angels. He was able to make one third of the angels rebels like him and he created the world of darkness in this way. These are Satan and his demons who reign over the world of darkness till God allows them.
This red dragon was waiting in front of the Woman, who was pregnant and on the point of giving birth to a child, he was waiting to devour the Male after His birth, the Word made Flesh: Jesus Christ was born. The dragon wanted to devour Him.
Was there anything true about this? Sure there was. Don't you remember the famous three Magi who came from the East to give their regards to the Baby Jesus who had been born in Bethlehem ? And to see their way better when the star that was guiding them seemed to be hidden, they asked where the king of the Jews would be born because the wisdom they had in their hearts had spoken to them. King Herod was informed, and he was alarmed and terribly upset because the sentence in fashion at the time was that the King of the Jews was to be born. In substance He was the Redeemer, the Saviour, the Messiah.
Anyway, the alarm enraged him and he kindly told the Magi what the priests had already said: it's in Bethlehem, in Judea, there the baby would be born. So He was born there. Then go and worship Him and then let me know immediately where He is so that I can come and worship Him too. And this hypocritical and devilish invention hid the other fact. As the Magi were inspired they didn't go back to Herod but took a different way, so Herod ordered the children up to two in all the district of Bethlehem to be killed, so that the Child wouldn't escape, he was to be killed. Here is the dragon waiting to eat the Redeemer. But, evidently, He is the Word made Flesh. God knows how to carry out His projects, so the Holy Family with the gifts given by the Magi, especially the gold, could buy the right donkey, prepare their baggage and escape towards Egypt, far away from Herod's persecution. So the dragon couldn't eat the child just born, the Redeemer.
And so? And so it was immediately known of this birth that the Child was predestined, this Male, to govern all the nations with His iron sceptre. And then the apocalypse said that this Son was immediately enraptured towards God and towards His throne. The woman instead escaped in the desert. Here is the other mystery. This Man, a real Man, human nature was really present in Christ, but it was, we should say, absorbed in heaven, in God, that is in the Word made Flesh. So with the divine nature and the divine person He was no longer totally earthly, but He was God and Man in full power to carry out the great works and projects of human redemption. And that He has escaped to heaven, let's say it with very popular words, is clear because after His resurrection, He wasn't taken up but He ascended to heaven by His own will because He was God. The Woman instead, the Mother that is the Virgin escaped to the desert. Which desert? Sure that the Lord died, resurrected and ascended to heaven, a lot of times in contact with the Virgin in such a glorious way to take Her up to heaven, for this reason the Virgin is called Our Lady of the Assumption.
This is why the Virgin goes to a desert. Which desert? In the hiding-place of the apostles, She lives in John's house, she inspires the apostles, guides them, supports them with Her prayer, Her tenderness, Her wisdom. And She accomplishes all Her task. Then a voice in heaven is heard - John says - saying: now the salvation is accomplished, our God's power and reign and His Christ's power are accomplished. Here it is. All the project of the redemption furiously taken by Satan's work, the red dragon, becomes a failure of evil, it becomes the triumph of good and God's power and God's reign is given its place, it is founded.
Then we are there. We have the Virgin, the sun-clad Woman, the ark of the alliance so the certainty that inside Herself She has all the reasons to lead us to heaven to the point that besides being an alliance it's a fusion of life. In fact Saint Paul and even Jesus tells it, we are God's children and if we are children we are also God's heirs if, yet, with Christ, we will bear the pain in order to be glorified with Him. This is the enormous project, hidden in the very great mystery of Mary that the Church considers in a more and more solemn way.
This wonderful creature and divinity at the same time, that is the Virgin, is our sun. And naturally She always rises on humanity to give light to warm up and to give the secret of life to everything, as the sun is the life of everything. It's beautiful. But is everything so? Yes, it is. But we mustn't forget that in the Apparition there is also the red dragon. In the chapters 11, 19, 12 of the apocalypse. The greatest book that ends and seals all the revelation of Christ, it's a divine book. Then is this enemy still there? Yes, sure it is. Let us not consider the colour, red, green or blue, any colour you like, sometimes it's black, sometimes it's dressed as a priest, according to the occasion. The devil is very clever, very wicked, he is evil, I would say, the essence of evil. What can we do? It's the sun-clad woman.
At Fatima the Virgin was sun-clad, but She is always sun-clad in Her apparitions . It's a sun that fits the poverty of our eyes, the weakness of our nature, but it's a sun. And why does it appear?
Shall we ask the Virgin why She appeared at Fatima? Because She wanted to warn us about what had already been said. And who had already said so? It had been said in the Gospel, in Her other apparitions.
Today the world has accustomed itself to forget la Salette, the Sanctuary of la Salette that for me is the greatest Sanctuary of Mary in the world, in which She revealed from its beginning to its end all the very great revelation of the progress of the church till the end of the world.
At Fatima She came to remind us these things and to precise them with some particulars which are not foolish things, it isn't the punctuation in a written text, but it's the substance of what is written there. She came to reveal us that God is tired of this perversity of the world. That God is tired of the weakness of a lot of His consecrated. That God is tired of the impurity that lives in the world.
But I should ask what purity is. What is purity? I think it's a kind of strange speech almost perfectly not shared by 99% of the whole universe of the world, here it is. Then in certain more lively populations, it may be shared by 50%, by 20% in some regions by only 3,4,5%, these should be the good ones that understand the purity of the spirit. But, answering a particular question, the Virgin said that, as it seems, there isn't even this general percentage; considering the bad and the worst, good and evil - in the world we are more than five thousand million people - as it seems, according to the Virgin, there isn't even 1% of real goodness. So God's threats come, but not as a revenge, because God is not a murderer! He isn't the author of the abortions, and so on, no! - but God the vindicator of the justice of good, of love, of life, of peace, God comes with an act of justice. And the act of justice, eh, blind people never see it and never more than today, they should need some eye specialists to treat their eyes more than mine. They don't see. They don't see. There are earthquakes which are always in a phase of settlement. Now this settlement is a fashion. But when will this settlement end? We will notice when this settlement ends. But as God doesn't hear the voice of love coming from a lot of parts of the world, He wants, one way or the other, make us understand the truth and the salvation. Blessed are those who are able to hear Him and who are able to appreciate Him.
We gathered at the feet of the Virgin who is the sun of our life to be able to appreciate and hear God's loving word, His adorable and fatherly warnings and even to enjoy, why not, also the promises of His salvation and of His peace. It's not all terror, it's not all punishment, it's not all suffering. Under this rough skin a burning love is seething and it will have to make our poor land new and better and more faithful to goodness itself.
So today, on this day, we will make a supplication to the Virgin at the end of the Mass, a prayer of total consecration , of ourselves, of the nations, of Russia, of everybody, to be part of the desire of the very lovable and pure and immaculate heart of the Holy Virgin.
This is the aim of our gatherings by the altar and so this is the aim that must make our spirits peaceful and glad because we aren't in Nero's hands: we are in God's hands. And God is infinitely honest, infinitely intelligent, infinitely pure, infinitely Love.
Let's trust Him. The Virgin grants for Him, She gave Him to us from Her bosom, let's hug this dear Mother as our Mother and the Saviour of our Life.
I believe in One Only God...