4th Easter Sunday
April 22th, 2018
Gospel: Mark 2,23-28; 3,1-6
Homily of the Pontiff Samuel
Today we live this Sunday of the time of Easter and the passage from Mark’s Gospel proposes us two moments of Jesus’ life, in which the Master clashes with the hypocrisy and the hardness of the hearts of the religious law holders of that time.
In the first episode (Mk 2:23-28), Jesus leads us to understand that there is something greater than the law: His Work and His Person, just as the Son of God himself has revealed, in this Land of Love, to His Maiden, Maria Giuseppina Norcia, She who has incarnated the virtues of Mary, the most beautiful Work that the Father has given to us all, His sons: Mary. The Son of Man, God who becomes Person, is above the human law. The Son of Man is the supreme legislator, the supreme Judge that every man and every woman must submit to, by virtue of the authority conferred on him by God the Father Almighty (Acts 10:42; 2Tim4:8).
Jesus worries about the life of His friends, who are hungry and eat the ears of corn in the field (Mk 2:23). The law holders accuse them of breaking the law (Mk 2:24) of that time. But it is not so. Jesus leads us to understand that the Son of Man has authority over every tradition and every human law (Mk 2:28), making the human mind able to understand what is good, using punctual and comprehensive examples. The Law that moves Jesus is that of Love (1Jn 3:16). Jesus, the Love made Person, the living Bread descended from Heaven (Jn 6:51), has come to give life to His sons, so that everyone may have life and have it to the full (Jn 10:10). That is the wish of Jesus.
The other episode, narrated in Mark’s Gospel, relates to the man healed on the Sabbath (Mk 3:1-6). The Pharisees, the holders of the law, have challenged Jesus, who wanted to help that man, healing him from his suffering, to make their hearts understand that God is Love, that God wants to help His sons, going beyond the human law of that time: a law that was wrong, based on two yardsticks and two measures (Prv 20:10), which cared about appearances and trampled on the substance; a law that did not protect God’s sons but was applied according to human convenience. Jesus with His speaking tried to touch the hearts of those men but their hearts were closed, full of pride. Those men did not open their hearts towards the Son of God and despite the evidence of the miracle worked by Jesus, they went away, being even more wicked. And without questioning themselves for their iniquitous work, they gathered with the powerful men of the word (Rev 18:3) to try to kill Jesus (Mk 3:6).
When the heart is closed towards Love, it becomes insensitive to Good and to Life; and even before the evidence, they continue to deny, continuing to support their own theses, even if they are, in all obviousness, wrong and contradictory, against humanity and law.
What happened then in Jesus’ time is not far from what we are experiencing today. Indeed, we seem to relive the same episodes. In these days all humanity is shaken by what is happening in Liverpool, in England, where a little innocent child not even two years old, Alfie Evans, has been condemned to death by the doctors of a hospital in which he is held prisoner and by the judges, of every order and degree, of Great Britain, that have decided for the good of the baby (seriously ill for a non-diagnosed illness) is better to switch off his life support. According to the doctors end to the judges, tomorrow, April the 23th, Alfie has to die.
What is disconcert and at the same time illogical and not human, is to deny the parents of little Alfie, Thomas and Kate, the right to transfer their child to other hospitals, which have offered and become available to welcome and to take care of little Alfie, because for the doctors of the Liverpool hospital transferring the baby to another hospital could not be in the interest of the baby. Therefore, the only solution for the good of everyone, is to let the little Alfie Evans die.
The British judges have ruled that the life of Alfie has became “futile” and that the doctors of the Liverpool hospital have the right to kill the child. While Alfie’s parents has not the right to cure their own son elsewhere, where many hospitals, in Italy and in the world, have declared to be ready to transfer and to cure him, being very specialised in this kind of pathologies. But the doctors’ decisions, supported by the sentences of the judges of every order and degree of the Great Britain, cannot be changed. The Alfies’ good is to die.
This is the so‑called today “civilization”. This is the new humanism, which discards God and His Laws and puts man and his laws at the centre. The man, in his delirium of omnipotence, in his pride, puts himself in the centre of the words and plays to be God, deciding of the human life and death, according to their thoughts and conveniences. Here it comes the law based on two yardsticks and two measures, of the private convenience that is imposed and made accepted as common good. No man can kill another man. God has commanded to man: “you must not kill” (Ex 20:13; Dt 5:17).
Little Alfie was baptized a Catholic Christian. His parents asked for asylum in the Vatican to cure their son. This request has not been accepted. The roman pontiff warried to show to the world to welcome and to care about the case of the little Alfie but, immediately after, with an official note from its own Conference of Bishops of England and Wales, the Church of Rome has wanted to make known the British Institutions and public opinion its solidarity to the hospital doctors who sentenced to death little Alfie, sentencing publicly that the critics to the doctors have to be considered “unfounded” (as they said); that the doctors have acted “with integrity and for Alfies’ good as they see it” ; that trying to save Alfie’s life had to consider an “exception” (these are the words written in this official statement of the Conference of Bishops of England and Wales). However, how is it possible to justify the doctors’ decision who have condemned to dead an innocent child, denying his parents the possibility to cure their son elsewhere? How is it possible to define as an “exception” the will of saving an ill child? ? And how could it be the feeling of the parents’ child before these words that contrast more strongly the roman pontiff words, who few hours before made shown to the world and to Alfie’s father to wish to take care of his son? Why have the roman Church leaders not contradicted the English judges who sentenced Alfie’s death using the roman pontiff’s word about the “life end”? Why have the roman Church leaders not contradicted the sentence of the Conference of Bishops of England and Wales, saying without doubts that the doctors’ decision to let Alfie die is wrong, is against God and is against the God’s Law?
The hypocrisy that reigns in the hearts of so‑called priests, priests of today, is not different from the hypocrisy that was in the hearts of the priests of that time, who condemned Jesus to death. The heart of many is hard. And the culture of death has prevailed in many hearts.
Many who should defend the true values of God, have lost their faith. For many, faith has become just mere propaganda. Many only show to have faith. But in their heart they have lost faith. They make use of propaganda, wanting to make the world believe that they are close to the poor, to the migrants, but then they do not help God’s own sons, condemned to death, who ask for help.
Today I am appealing to all those who hold human power. God is Good but also Just (Ps 116:5a; Bar 5:9). One day you will face the Supreme Judge and you will have to account to Him (Mt 25:31-46). In the same way you measure, you will be measured (Mk 4:24a). Do not overcome the little ones. Do not deny the fundamental human rights. Do not get over the right, the true right, to the human reasons and conveniences, because the Father does not admit it. Should nobody dare to challenge God.
I am appealing to the Heads of all Governments and States, so that today they may make heard their voice in defence of the life of Alfie Evans, before a tomorrow of death will come. I am appealing to the Her Majesty the Queen of England, who yesterday has celebrated her 92 years-old birthday, so that in Her Authority she may act to save the life of this child. I am appealing to the President of the Republic of this Country, so that he may make sensible the Heads of the other European Governments and States, those that are Christians, to move all the consciousness to defend the inviolable gift of the life, especially the life of all the innocents.
To all Christians and to all men and women of good will, today I say: “Reawaken the consciences. Reawaken the consciences from a lethal sleep that has numbed the minds and hearts of many. Do not be deceived by the empty words and gestures of circumstance of many who take care about appearances and trample on the substance, making propaganda, showing only in appearance to be close to the young, the sufferings, the poor and the last ones; but that indeed are trampling on God and His true teachings, especially about the Family and the Life, that are the two fundamental pillars of the civil coexistence of every society”.
“Keep faith in God, in the One and Triune God, in Baby Jesus Who once again has descended to this Land of Love, as He had promised. In this Land of Love, the Truth of the Christian faith will always be defended. The Father has wanted this Church, one, holy and universal, to give to the world a new hope, to give God’s sons a Dwelling Place, in which the Holy Spirit of God lives (Rev 21:3). God will never leave His sons alone.
On this day, again we entrust ourselves to God the Father Almighty, through Mary’s Immaculate Heart, so that He may welcome our prayer and lead to salvation the life of Alfie Evans, the life of all God’s sons and the life of those who entrusts in Him with sincere heart, so that the Love of God’s Son may return to the centre of the life of all Christians and of all men and women of good will. And so be it.