5th Sunday of Lent
March 18th 2018
Gospel: John 20,19-31
Homily of the Pontiff Samuel
On this fifth Sunday of Lent, Mark’s Gospel proposes us the moment in which Jesus drives the merchants out of the temple (Mk 11:15). Jesus goes up to Jerusalem, which was considered the holy city. And Jesus enters the temple of that city. In truth, Jerusalem already was no longer holy, because the Father’s Spirit was no longer dwelling there; and what for many was considered the holy temple, in truth was no longer a “holy temple”, because the Father’s Spirit was no longer there, but was alive in the Man Jesus, God (Lk 4:1-14).
This passage of Mark’s Gospel evokes our first consideration. Where the Spirit of the Father is, there is holiness. Where the Father has withdrawn His Spirit, holiness is no longer there. Can the Father withdraw His Spirit? Of course the Father can. The Father can do everything. Foolish are those men who think that the Father cannot change His intervention in history. God’s history teaches us the exact opposite. Think of the Covenant. The Father has established His pact of love with humankind several times throughout His history. The Father has always been faithful to His Covenant of Love. The Father has never betrayed. But when men betrayed that pact, that Covenant, and despite the calls and warnings of the Father, they continued to make mistakes, to persevere in error, the Father has annulled that covenant and has restored and renewed it, with those who, in the meantime, He had prepared and have remained faithful to Him(Heb 8, 6-13).
So it was from the beginning, since the Genesis. The history of Adam and Eve first (Gn 3:16-24); the history of Noah and His family after (Gn 6:17-18), are a clear example of this. So it was with the Jewish people, with the sons of Abraham, of Isaac and Jacob. That Covenant, that was drawn up (Gn 17:4.21; 35:10-12), was then revoked by the Father, annulled (Heb 8:13), because, despite His numerous warnings, men continued to do what was bad in His eyes, going so far as to kill God, the incarnate God, Jesus. And so the Father broke that Covenant, which the Father Himself had repeatedly called “eternal” (Is 24:5).
There are many references in the Sacred Scriptures, in the Old Testament, that talk about this Covenant that was to be eternal (Gn 9;12.16; 17:7.13.19; 2Sam 23:5; Eccles 17:10; 45:15; Jer 32:40; Ezk 16:60). The Father has repealed it, to stipulate a new one in Christ Jesus and with His sons, the Christians (Lk 22:20). And therefore, was the Father wrong, or was He wrong in defining that Covenant “eternal”, the one which He Himself would have broken afterwards? The Father is not wrong. Men are those who are wrong. And as consequence, the Father modulates and re‑modulates His action in history. This is what many do not want to understand, and persist in refusing to understand. “But if the Father already knew that it would end this way, why did He allow it? Why did He call those men and not call others?” Many still today make these considerations. But what they do not want to understand is that it’s the man that makes the difference, by virtue of the freedom granted by the Father. Men called by God can remain faithful to their Call or betray it. And as consequence of this, the Father establishes how to proceed. It is freedom that makes the difference.
The story of King Saul and King David is also significant in this context, in our reasoning. First the Father ordered the prophet Samuel to anoint King Saul (1Sam 9:17; 10:1). But later, because of Saul’s disloyalty (1Sam 15:10-11.23-28), while Saul was still alive, the Father ordered His prophet to anoint another man as king: David (1Sam 16:11-14).
The Truth is that those who are called and chosen by God and make a Covenant of Love and of faithfulness with God, must remain faithful to the pact they made. The Father leaves men free but at the same time the Father is equally free to cancel that covenant, because of the disloyalty of those who betrayed Him. We cannot claim rights with the Father or expect, by the virtue of whatever right, that the Father should do one thing or another.
One is the Covenant that the Father makes with His people. Various covenants cannot coexist at the same time. The one with the Jewish people no longer is. This is written also in the Holy Scriptures (Heb 8:13), even if the pontiff of the Church of Rome has repeatedly affirmed the opposite (both in public documents, and in a meeting held in the Synagogue of Rome, where it was said that this Alliance has in fact never been repealed). There was a great outcry from some priests of the Church of Rome, for reading and listening to these statements that are against the Holy Scriptures and against all what Christians always knew: namely that the Covenant is with the Christian people, and no longer with the Jewish people. That was the old Covenant. But despite some priests of the Church of Rome have expressed their great indignation, the leaders of that reality have remained in a deafening and complicit silence, keeping silent and consequently consenting to what many have called a “public heresy”.
This is what ought to make us reflect. Whoever is animated by the Holy Spirit, stands and obeys God before men, even if they are eminent persons. As Peter and St. John the Apostle said: “Who should we obey? Tell us. To whom are we to remain faithful, to God or to men, who deem to bring God to others but who, in practice with their behaviour demonstrate the exact opposite?” (Acts 4,19; 5,29). Holiness is determined by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Where Holy Spirit is not present, every action performed by men loses effectiveness. I bring you an example, that is experienced every day in another reality, that many still frequent, many Christians. When the minister, the priest, invokes the Father to send His Spirit to sanctify the gifts, what happens? That prayer is not an automatism, but it is a concession of the Father, who can decide whether to send His Spirit or not. “Now we pray You, Heavenly Father: send Your Spirit to sanctify these gifts”. So, it’s a prayer: “we pray You”. It is not an automatism. The Father is not obliged, because a man asks Him, to send His Spirit. If the Father wants, He sends His Spirit, but if the Father does not, what happens? If the Father has withdrawn in the meantime His Spirit, what happens to those gifts that are on that table, on their table? It’s the Spirit that makes the difference. It’s the Father who establishes where to send His Spirit and where not, so to manifest without doubt, in a univocal way, in which House His Spirit dwells. Otherwise there would be confusion. One is the Covenant that the Father has established, renewed and restored, and one is the House in which He sends His Spirit, to demonstrate without doubt where that Spirit dwells.
In the Gospel we heard today, Jesus does a resounding thing, that has remained in history.
In overturning the tables of the money-changers and the seats of the dove-sellers (Mk 11:15), Jesus prefigures, in the Spirit, what already would have been. Let us try to read this page not only in the historical context, but in an eschatological context, of what was being brought to fulfilment, of what was going to be. The table leads us to think to the Table of the Lord, the Mass; and therefore to the Sacrifice of Christ, which would have been sold off by those who are “money‑ changers” in the temple: those who for personal interest were selling off Christ’s Sacrifice, would have sold off Christ’s Sacrifice, and have sold off Christ’s Sacrifice. The Dove leads us to think to the Holy Spirit. The dove-sellers in the temple, lead our mind to those who would have sold off and betrayed the Dove, that represents the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ gesture, read in an eschatological key, preannounces the time we are living, where the action of the Spirit of the Risen Christ breaks into history, in the old temple, to drive out those who have sold off the Eucharistic Sacrifice of Christ and those who have betrayed the Holy Spirit.
These are the times in which everything is being fulfilled. The city that many consider holy, is no longer holy (Rev 18:2). That basilica, which was once considered the cradle of Christianity, is no longer holy. It is no longer holy because the Spirit of the Father doesn’t dwell there anymore, because the men who live there, starting from its top, have betrayed the Father’s Spirit, as preannounced in the Sacred Scripture (2Th 2:3) and as prophesied throughout history from the little shepherds, the humble messengers of God, who spoke by means of the Holy Spirit, but who were not listened to. And they preannounced the great apostasy that would have started from the leadership of that reality, of the church of Rome. But men preferred not to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit: they preferred to plug their ears and to close their eyes, so to not hear and to not see what is actually happening in front of them, every day. In that reality the market has not ended. It has become a market in the name of God, it’s a continuous haggling and barter of what should never be traded. Here is that living market, which unfortunately is before everyone’s eyes (Rev 18:3).
Christ cannot be sold off in the attempt to bring everyone together in a new world religious philosophy, in a new worldwide church, where Christ is no longer the centre, is no longer the Rock, is no longer the cornerstone; but where Christ is once again the discarded stone. On the pretext of wanting to welcome everyone, of wanting to reach out to everyone, in reality everyone is moved away from Christ. This means to betray the Father’s Project of salvation, which is fulfilled only and only in Christ (Mk 16:16; Jn 10:9; Acts 2:21; Rm 10:13; 1Ts 5,9; 2Th 2:10; 3:15). This is the subtle deception, which many fail to understand and decipher: the will to make believe to want to welcome everyone but with the actual intention to driving them away from Christ, so that everyone may think that to believe in Christ, or to believe in Muhammad, or to believe in Buddha or to believe in the Jewish religion or in Hinduism or in anything else, is in fact more or less the same thing. This is what was widespread in a video message, broadcasted to the whole world, on 6 January 2016, by the top of the Church in Rome. But God’s history is not “more or less”: it is. It is or it is not. The Father sent His Son so that everyone may believe in His Son, Jesus, the only incarnate God. The difference is this, in selling off the primacy of Christ and of the Christian religion; in selling off the living action of the Holy Spirit. This is why Jesus was angry.
For this reason, in the meantime, the Father has prepared in advance His Abode, His new Abode, the New Jerusalem, as it was preannounced (Rev 21:2-3) and revealed to the world by His Maiden, Maria Giuseppina, who is here in front of you, of all of us, She the One who was called and chosen by the Father, to welcome His Plan and to prepare God’s people for this epochal turning point. Here is the White Island, preannounced, where the Father promised to preserve the purity of faith. The island which is detached from what is terra firma. And already in that word, the Father’s Plan should have been understood. On the other hand, we have heard it in these days. Her unique interview has been re-proposed to us: ” Jesus revealed to me a lot of secrets; but I cannot reveal them yet”. Those secrets were revealed to those who were to know them, so then to help Her to put into practice what should have had to be done. Of course She could not say them on television. Foolish people are those who think that now, whoever is carrying out all this, is doing it on his own behalf. All what has been revealed, certainly in the silent secret and intimacy of heart, is being implemented. This is the holy continuity, which many once again would want to break, in order to make believe that in reality all what is being done is something different. It is a single thread that bonds the Father’s Project, from the beginning to the end. And now we together, as Church, must carry it forward. Because if men had welcomed God’s messengers in history; if men had accepted and lent credence to His announcement, the Father would not have wanted this Church, but everything would have gone on as before. But since men, in their freedom, have chosen to do otherwise, to not listen to the Spirit of the Father who has spoken through His Maiden, and earlier through His other messengers, what should the Father have had to do? He went ahead and changed. And He decided to do it this way. And in obedience to the Father, here we are, to bring to fulfilment all what is in His Heart. Here is this Church. Here is the New Jerusalem, announced by the Holy Scriptures (Rev 21:2), announced to the whole world by God’s Maiden. And when She did so, She did not receive praise, not at all: criticisms, only criticisms. Whoever now says that in the past She was well treated by that courtyard, is consciously lying, knowing to lie. How did they treat Her? We know how: the intimately crying and suffering, that this woman lived because of all this, and also because of other things, in Her heart. Here is the history that we are here to complete and bring to completion.
Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Joseph, this great saint of Christendom. And we turn our prayer to the brave Guardian of the Universal Church of Christ, so that the Heavenly Father may guard the Treasure of Christendom, continuing to guard and protect the Mystery of Baby Jesus from those who would want once again to spiritually kill Him in the hearts of many, for not wanting to recognize and to welcome the reality and spirituality of this Church. No one can deny the full right of this Church to be recognized before men.
May Mary Most Holy and St. Joseph, together, protect the Mystery of Baby Jesus, descended from Heaven in this Land of Love to give back to all God’s sons and to all men of goodwill, the true freedom and the true, pure and holy faith, that the Father in the White Island, in this Holy Mystery, has wanted to give again to all humanity. And so be it.