3rd Easter Sunday
Gospel: John 15,9-17
April 15, 2018
Marriage of Vittorio and Daniela
Homily of the Pontiff Samuel
This page of the Gospel now proclaimed, leads us to the heart of Jesus’ teaching. It leads us straight to the center of what His teaching is: Love. The so‑called commandment of love. That is the Love that animates and has animated Jesus, and that animates us in following Jesus and doing His will through to the end. Here is that Love which, if pursued and lived in totality, will bear fruit in abundance. «Remain in My Love. I have loved you just as the Father has loved Me. If you keep My commandments you will remain in My Love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in His Love. I have told you this so that My own Joy may be in you and your joy be complete».
Here is how to live joy: remaining united to Jesus, to His Heart, and remaining united to one another in that spousal love that we are celebrating today.
Here is Vittorio, here is Daniela, who are here today together with all of you so to proclaim this love. A love that led them to make this journey and to be here, on this holy day, so to manifest their desire to love one another, in Jesus. They have found themselves in this love for God, Who has come down to this Land of Love, and because of this love, they are here, now, to promise to love each other, he to love her and she to love him, forever, accepting this challenge, because to get married in this days, in these hard and difficult times, is a challenge. Many prefer to not get married, many prefer cohabitation, because they do not know what lays before them. And therefore, for fear of facing with what is unknown, they prefer to take time and proceed without committing themselves before God and the world.
Vittorio and Daniela have made a different choice: they want to commit themselves. They have already committed themselves. They have undertaken this journey for some time now, a journey that has brought them to increaslingly live Jesus and His Love, and they have found themselves again, in this Love so that they can, now, promise each other eternal love, and eternal fidelity. And they make this promise, being fully aware of the sentiment they have for each other, and above all, well aware of the sentiment that both of them have towards Jesus. Here it is then, that they are placing their sentiment on the Rock: Christ; on the Stone: Christ; being sure that by counting on Christ, and by clinging to Christ, every trial will be overcome, even those that cannot be foreseen. Here is the Christian love, here is the love of God’s sons, that are ready to accept this challenge so to bear fruit.
Here is the faithful love that bears fruit, not appearance. And this is the challenge that, before others, has been carried out by Her, Mary, the One we all love and to Who we look to, the One Who has welcomed, in Her Pure Heart, the Love made Person: Jesus. She has known how to enshrine Him in Her Heart of Woman, of Mother, so to be able to give Her Son to all those who over time have come to this Holy Place to attain, from Her Heart, this Love for Jesus, sent to this holy Place by the Father to restore the Love in the world: a world that had increasingly lost Him, already at that time. 1947: hard and difficult times. Those who lived those days and years, well know the difficulties that God’s people, and all men had to face due to the great war. But the following years have not been less difficult.
Here it is that the Father has prepared His people, by having prepared the Heart of His Maiden so to make sure that the love for His Heart could never fade.
The Father had over time warned that hard and difficult times would come for Christianity. Many remember the messages that the Father, through His Mother, Mary, has sent to the world, so that His sons would be converted before it was too late. Already Pope Paul VI, at that time, had spoken of the “smoke of satan” that had entered that place, in that house; he had strongly denounced that what was happening shouldn’t have taken place. But nevertheless, these … announcements have remained unheard. And the Father has continued to love His sons.
Here it is that the Father, in this Land of Love, has prepared the way for His people, which in the meantime has arrived, even more numerous. And many, many, many have discovered and rediscovered, that Love, the Love that Jesus – through Her, the privileged God’s Tool who had been called to do this – has given to many; and in a direct way, manifesting Himself. Many have personally lived the presence of Jesus in this Place. Many have experienced His Living Love, His Living Grace: many are the signs that have been given and bestowed in this holy place, to confirm the presence of Jesus and His Spirit in this Place. And many have come back to live the true faith. Many have changed their lives and many have borne fruit. And this is what matters today. Not the appearance off of those who say “Lord, Lord”, of those who say “I believe”, but don’t do the Lord’s will. What matters is who bears fruit, who is example; this is what we all have to look to.
Vittorio and Daniela are the friut of this Love; they met in this Holy Place. They walked hand in hand in this Holy Place, they found themselves in Jesus’ Love, even before that love that now brings them, as a man and as a woman, to walk together. For many, this should be the sign, as said before, and the fruit of God’s Work. If it wasn’t for the work of God, they would not be here. If the Spirit of God were not present in this Place, all this could not happen.
And here it is that there are other fruits of God’s love at their side, which are right next to Vittorio and Daniela. And so, many others, fruits of the Love that the Father wanted to give through this Holy Place. Here is the spousal love that generates other fruits. Here it is that we touch God’s Love, who is alive and present in this Place of Love. This is why this day I say to many: «Do not be afraid to come and see, just as many used to do. Do not be intimidated by those who speak without knowing, by those who proclaim untrue things. Do not be afraid to live God’s Love that in this Land of Love is alive and that the Father has wanted to give to this arid and lost humanity, which has lost the Way, that is Christ; which no longer knows the Truth, that is Christ; which does not live the True Life anymore, that only Christ can give».
Some have remained and say “Lord, Lord”, but they do not do the Lord’s will. They say it but they do not do it. And indeed, facing the first difficulties, they collapse. If one does not hold on to the Lord, he no longer has the strength to pray, nor to remain, even in the trials, with a straight back and head high. Because it is a faith that has become weak. And in front of the difficulties, there is the downfall.
Others instead, do not want to know anything more about the Lord, because they no longer feel the real presence of the Lord, they no longer have examples of people, men and women, who bring them the example of how to live the Lord.
This is what we, as Church, are called to do: to go back to being example for everyone in order to make people understand the Lord’s Love. This is what Vittorio and Daniela are called to do; likewise all of us who today are renewing our “yes”, through Vittorio and Daniela, so to love God, to concretely love Him by doing His will every day. Here are the commandments brought to our minds by Jesus in this passage. Those who do the Lord’s will, respect God’s commandments not because they are obliged, not because they were told that: «If you don’t do so, something bad may happen to you»; but because they want to do so, because they wholeheartedly love the Lord. And therefore, this love naturally leads you to do the Lord’s will, not because you are obliged, but because you want to. This is the difference that makes you change pace, that makes you change your life, that makes you change your desire to live this life; and not only to survive or, as someone says in dialect jargon, “to live hand to mouth”. To live Christ is not this. To live Christ is to live your life with the enthusiasm and with the love that lead you to face every trial, every day, knowing that you are not alone, because Jesus is with you, God’s Love walks beside you, God’s Love made Person, is alive: He follows you, He accompanies you, He spurs you, He exhorts you, He loves you. And thanks to that Love, you go on, you overcome every trial, you overcome every illness, you overcome the troubles of your everyday life. And through prayer and fraternal union, you find the daily strength to be able to renew, every day, your “yes” to God’s Love.
This is why, on this day, I want to call everyone to loyalty, so that everyone may be aware of what to love God and love the brothers means: not with words, but with heart, so that everyone may experience the true love, even the fraternal love, so to be able to rediscover God’s Love, so that all those who arrive here, may find true brothers and sisters who truly love each other, despite the understandble difficulties that individual persons may feel. Never badmouth your brother! Never say bad things about your brother! That is not love. Try to excuse your brother, to understand your brother: here is the divine Mercy that is incarnated in each of us.
On that stone tablet, that God the Father has wanted to dictate to His Maiden, is written that here is the centre of God’s infinite Mercy. This is why this Santuary is dedicated to the Divine Mercy. Because this is the center of the divine Mercy, of the infinite Mercy of God, the one that leads us all to rediscover God’s Love, in the moment in which we approach this place with a sincere and open heart, asking God for His Mercy, so to be able able to restart, being strong of this Love.
This is what the Father asks us to live, in this Holy Place.
«Come all you little ones, haste, so to be able to experience God’s mercy!».
«Come without fear, embrace the love of God that here is alive!!»
«Touch with your hand the Father’s infinite Mercy, that manifests Himself in this Land of Love, to give His sons all His Love: a live and total Love!»
This is the invitation that we renew today, on this day in which this Church once again is celebrating, thanks to the “yes” that Vittorio and Daniela are preparing to renew: to confirm themselves, so that this love may be an example for many other young people who want to find themselves in God and want to give priority to the one and only supreme Good: God. And so be it.