HOMILY OF THE 13th MAY 1982
It’s perfectly useless to say that today is our feast. Instead, what I have to tell you is very useful.
In Luke’s holy Gospel, the Evangelist speaks of something very strange and what is strange is that they went to Jerusalem with Jesus, in a group of relatives. The relatives were of Joseph’ s family, of Saint Joseph’s. But, when the feast was over, they were going back home. This is not very strange. What is strange is that they notice that Jesus is not with them. Evidently the enormous confusion of the people religiously attached to their own temple, the enormous confusion made the disappearance of young Jesus possible. We dare call Him the son of those parents, and the parents were the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Virgin. Saint Joseph was but the authoritative and purest guardian of the Sacred family. They didn’t see Him, they looked for Him and came back to Jerusalem to find Him there. They eventually found Him in the temple. At seeing Him so, the Mother intervenes, why doesn’t Saint Joseph intervene? Because he was only the guardian, Mary instead was His Mother, and had a huge importance.
I have sometimes hinted at this mystery. I like to hint at it today because this is a very traditional date not only at Fatima or somewhere else, but also here at Monte Fasce. I take the liberty, or if you prefer the liking, of touching this mystery. The mystery is that Mary had a very peculiar position, so peculiar to make Her similar to God Our Lord. She was evidently a human creature but the dignity and the transformation in Her was such that there was a certain equality with God. Where did this equality come from? Because She was the Mother of God. The Mother of the Word made Flesh. No doubts this is an equality, to share the creative power of the Man who was to be born without a person. Christ the Man had not a person. Do you know what we mean when we say person? Probably you confuse it with anyone going along the street, that is a person. And why is it a person? What does this word “person” mean? It means the centre of attribution, it means that he will make alive everything he does, everything he thinks, everything he puts in action, he is the centre of attribution. This centre of attribution is called “person”.
Now in Jesus Christ, as a Man, there was no person. There were His two natures, mysteriously and wonderfully united: His human nature and His divine nature directly created by God’s Spirit when, shading the Virgin, He took from Her flesh Christ’s flesh, the flesh of the Man-God. But the Person was only one: it was God. The Holy Spirit, God the Father: all God.
Now you well understand what Mary’s dignity and greatness were; She was so great that some Fathers and theologians have defined Our Lady “Complementum Trinitatis”, the complement of Trinity. She was so great that the great doctor, Saint Bonaventura, calls Our Lady “ God’s Masterpiece”. You well understand that if God could make another one, it wouldn’t be a masterpiece anymore, they would be two masterpieces, but there can’t be two masterpieces because “masterpiece” means unreplaceable, inimitable because that is the masterpiece. So Our Lady is God’s masterpiece.
What’s the secret of all this event? You say: “divine motherhood”. To a certain extent it’s true. But the truth is in another much deeper truth. Our Lady had identified Her will with God’s will. Here is Our Lady’s greatness, so we are not wrong when we say that doing Our Lady’s will, we exactly do God’s will. The person of the Virgin unifies Her will to make it idem, as we sometimes say “this is idem”, so it’s the same thing. Very well. To identify it with God’s will. This is enormous: enormous. And it is only considering this aspect that the Holy Scriptures, in a prophetic sense, could say that while God was studying the foundations of the earth, She was with Him. While God was speaking and creating His great projects on the universe, She was with Him. While God was placing the wide waters in the sea and those mysteriously in heaven, She was with Him. Isn’t She eternal, then ? Yes, Our Lady is eternal. We are eternal too. We have begun to live because we didn’t exist, but once living we become eternal. Our Lady isn’t only eternal, She is so thanks to Her identification with God’s will, so only God’s will, mind this well, only God’s will could create the Only-Begotten of the Father made Man: only God’s will. Then it appears clear that the Virgin’s will identifies only with this, and with this She becomes a creature who grazes the glory of infinity. She is not infinite, this is clear, I don’t mean to be heretical, but She grazes the greatness of infinity. So Our Lady is enormously great.
But then why does Saint Paul say such a sentence: “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” These words have a great wisdom, they have the spontaneous, great sense of the revelation and of the law or better, of the lesson that is given to the teachers of Israel, to the owners of the temple, to the present ministry who is questioning Jesus the Lord, who was only 12, as a Man. And what does it mean? Its meaning is very clear. If Our Lady gives these strange words of admiration and surprise it’s because with these words She gets an answer, an unfailing and wonderfully great answer. Jesus answers : “Why did you seek Me?”.
The doctors of the temple heard these words very well. Yes, why did they seek Him? They had a right to seek Him, He was their son. No. “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” The figure of Saint Joseph is totally obscured. That man clearly appears as the human protector of the Sacred Family.
The revelation is manifest. A 12-year-old young Boy says that He must be about His Father’s business, not their business, but His father’s. So He wonderfully claims His nature, His origin, His mission, His divine greatness. Here is Christ the Man-God, here is God made Flesh.
Saint Luke, as a good son, writes some informal words. I’m almost tempted to give Saint Luke some advice, to tell him: “ You could be more precise!” , because he says a great truth: that Our Lord went with them to Bethlehem, and he obeyed them. And this was the phase, we would say, very limited, but very eloquent of family discipline, of moral order, of family union. But Saint Luke writes some words that I believe, were he here present, he would change a little, even if they were inspired! “But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.”. Then, at a certain moment he says that “ Mary, His mother kept all these things in her heart.”. How could She keep these things in Her heart if they didn’t understand His words?
So it’s very clear that the answer was about the revelation of His dignity as God, of His being the direct Son of the Heavenly Father and that good Saint Joseph was but a loving and angelic guardian. The Mother instead kept all these things in Her Heart. The things, if they weren’t said, which things? That Jesus must be about His Father’s business. But if She kept them in Her heart, it means that Our Lady knew these things and kept them in Her Heart.
Then Our Lady’s Heart isn’t only a heart of inexpressible tenderness, of a veneration it must receive at all costs from all Christianity and even from all mankind, from all those who don’t know Her, hoping that at least before giving out the last breath of a dying life, they might know this truth. But Our Lady appears in Her greatness, which is our comfort. “Dear Virgin, You knew all these things and you kept them in Your Heart, so did you keep us there too?” I don’t want to be long so I will tell you Her answer in a few words, but it would be clearly demonstrable in the Gospels, too.
Her answer is simply this: “ It’s for this reason that I am mysteriously crucified with Him on the Calvary. I have descended in His sepulchre as if I were dead, I have come out of it alive as He has resurrected, because I am the Mother of Mankind, ( Father Raschi is crying) because I am the Mother of the Church, the true Mother.” Any other person should bend his head to Her Name, because such a dignified mother is only Our Lady, nobody but Her .
So today it’s the feast of Her Heart, because all the things that concern the entire creation, the greatness of the universe, the beauty of our creation, the greatness of our destiny and God’s supreme glory have lived and live in Her Heart. Here is why today Our Lady has tenderly claimed this great and wonderful veneration of Her Heart.
It deserves a very short mention, as I want to be neither false nor untruthful and not even vainly fearful. But on the 12th of February Our Lady clearly told us: “ Pray for the Holy Father, because He’s walking on the verge of a great betrayal”. I think that this second and terrible force of attempt on his life is more than enough to explain Her concern, Her announcement and Her invitation to pray for him. As the Holy Virgin rightly said: “This Holy Father, this John Paul II is really an Angel”. Remember it well .
So in the feast of the Immaculate Heart, at Fatima the Holy Father (Father Raschi is very moved) is thanking Our Lady for the second escaped danger and for the greatness of the revelations that he will certainly have . Good Father Pasquale received a letter, I can tell you his name, he was a kind of father confessor for Lucy . He was inevitably a great family friend and united to them for the great mysteries of the consecration of Russia and of the whole world to the Immaculate Heart . So not long ago this Father received a letter from Lucy in which she said she was in a great hurry to speak to the Holy Father about very serious things . I’m not celebrating a funeral now, above all because we celebrate this mass for a feast in honour of Our Lady, but I can’t forget the altar from which I’m speaking to you and where the sacred sacrifice is celebrated, once again, for the nth time I repeat: the Calvary of Christ is reproduced . It’s here, on this altar that in a few minutes Christ goes back on His cross again, gives His blood again, works again our redemption and waits for us as an adorable Friend in the mystery of the sacrament that comes from and is hidden in the sacred tabernacle that is waiting for us every day.
Think of this wonderful meeting with Our Lord, think of it. He’s in the tabernacle. Not only here but in every church where with duty and possibly with adoration this great mystery is celebrated and is complete with the adorable consequence of a sacrament in which God can tell us: “ I have become the meal for your hunger, I have become your food. This is a miracle above any other miracle, which has worn out the potentiality of My miracle, because I couldn’t do more”. Keep this will in the Virgin’s Heart, who all knew and kept, who has handed down to us everything and who keeps on doing so.
Don’t be surprised of Our Lady’s Apparitions. The street-walkers speak, the thieves speak, the murderers speak, the revolutionaries speak, the warmongers speak, all the destroyers speak, why can’t God and the Holy Virgin speak? Think of it and adore this wonderful mystery, thank God for it and trust to the Virgin’s hands. For this reason we will do a simple consecration. At the end of the Mass, we will consecrate to Her and so we will have spent a nice day in honour of Her wonderfully good Heart.
I believe in One only God….