Celebration of the Marriage of Giuseppe and Francesca
December 17th 2017
Gospel: Matthew 6,25-34
Homily of the Pontiff Samuel
“Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on God’s saving justice, and all these other things will be given you as well” (Mt 6:33), Jesus says. We have found It. Here, in this Land of Love, we have found what Jesus tells us in this page of Matthew’s Gospel, that is what should be sought “first”.
Here, in this Land of Love, we have found the Treasure announced by Jesus (cf. Mt 13:44), preserved and proclaimed by Mary, the Immaculate of the Holy Spirit, Immaculate by grace, that has found favour before God, Mary, the Eternal Maiden, our good and tender Mother: the Kingdom announced by Jesus (Mt 4:17), prepared for all His faithful and holy sons.
This Treasure is hidden from the learned men of the world (Mt 11:25), from those who live the world to accumulate wealth and money, from those who “first” worry about what they are to eat, to wear, and about how to make their body more attractive (Mt 6:25). This Treasure is not hidden from the sons of God, to the sons of this Church – to you, Giuseppe and Francesca, who are here – and to those who have recognized in the Mystery of the Child God, the fulfilment of the promises of Jesus (2Pet 3:13), and that today are here, to celebrate Giuseppe and Francesca, that want to promise, by their “yes” before God, their will to love each other for their whole life and their will to be faithful: Giuseppe to Francesca; Francesca to Giuseppe. This is the challenge of this Church and this is the challenge of Giuseppe and Francesca. Because today in this world, at this time, all this cannot be taken for granted. To remain faithful: this is the challenge (Jn 8:31).
Be Faithful! Be Faithful! Be Faithful! This is what is lacking in this world in these times (Psalm 12:2). This virtue is trampled, usurped and used just in words. In this Land of Love, Faithfulness is alive. In this Land of Love, Faithfulness will be redeemed (Prv 16:6). It will return to be at the centre of the life of God’s sons, that want to be faithful to God, to the Mystery of God and to the Church of Christ; and that want to be faithful to each other, overcoming every temptation, wanting to remove every temptation, praying the Father that He does not put the sons to the test, to temptation, just as we recite in the Our Father: “Lead us not into temptation” (Mt 6,13). God the Father allowed His Son Jesus to be put to the test by the devil (Mt 4:1). Jesus faced and overcame temptation (Mt 4,2-11). And in the “Our Father”, He asked us to pray the Father not to be “led” into temptation, because He says (as well as St. Paul) “The spirit is willing enough, but human nature is weak” (Mt 26:41b, Mk 14:38; cf. Rm 6:19a, 7;5, 8:5-6).
We want to remain faithful to these teachings. In this Church, the words of the “Our Father” (Mt 6: 9-13) taught by Jesus, will not be changed, as instead another pontiff, of another house, has said to want to do in his house. In this House, we will remain faithful to Jesus’ words. This is why this Church is born: to defend Christianity, to defend and bring the true teaching of Jesus to the centre again.
In this House, it will never be said that Jesus on the Cross has made himself the “devil”, that He has made himself a “snake”, that He made himself “malediction” – I quote exactly the words that have been said -; and that He is “ugly to make you sick”: Jesus!
In this House, we will never say to not believe in a Catholic God, to not believe that Christ is the absolute Truth. In this House, we will never say that all are sons of God and that consequently the religions, all the religions, lead to God, as if to say that all religions, after all, are more or less the same.
This is to betray the Project of the Father, He who gave His Son to this humanity, the Only Begotten Son of God (Jn 1:14), because salvation can be achieved only in Christ (Jn 3:16-17). This is the meaning of Christmas, for Christians, that we are preparing to live and that we are already living: that is to celebrate the coming of the Saviour (Lk 2:11), who is born again in the heart of those who welcome Him and of those who become “living Cradle” to welcome His Love, the Love made Person (cf. Jn 15:9, 1Jn 4:9-10), generated by the will of the Father in the Heart of a Woman, the Virgin Mary, by means of the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:35).
This is our faith in the One and Triune God. This is our belief in the Most Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Not as it is said in another house, that the Trinity is apparently united but that inside, in reality, there are quarrels.
Giuseppe and Francesca, you should never quarrel. Try with all your strength never to fight. I’m telling you this for the great love that as a brother I feel for you. Know how to love, understand and respect each other, as we will soon say again. Listen to the teachings of Jesus, that are alive and will be even more alive in your heart, the more your heart will be docile and obedient to the action of the Holy Spirit, who in this Cradle is alive. Do not listen to the teachings of another pontiff who in another house says: “Quarrel as much as you like, throw dishes against each other on condition that after you make peace”. This is not the teaching of Jesus to the newlyweds. This is why I tell you: try to never quarrel. Do not throw dishes. Do not insult each other. Respect and always love one other (Jn 15:17). Because the signs of these gestures and words remain and hurt. And they would scandalize those who look at you, those who love you, those who care about you: those of your family and your friends; and above all, they would scandalize the little ones (Mk 9:42), the innocent ones, that would be scarred for life by seeing dishes thrown in the family, and from hearing “mom” insulting “dad”; “dad” insulting “mom”.
This is the teaching of our Church, which differs from another church, where the opposite is taught. A teaching that is not of Jesus is taught, a teaching that does not keep families united: it breaks them apart.
This is our desire to live the Kingdom of God and His Justice “first”, by respecting the promises we made. Before any other human thought. Before anything else. Before all the rest.
In this Cradle of Love, in this Holy Place wanted by the Father, we’ve found the true Love, Christ, the Love made Person, the Saviour, sent by the Father once again to save this humanity (1Jn 4:14) that is arid and lost: a breathless humanity, a restless humanity, that does not find peace, that finds no satisfaction in anything, because it does not live God, because it has not found the true Love of God, that manifests Himself to His faithful sons, that loves His faithful sons, and that accompanies His faithful sons to live a holy life. This is what we ask in the prayer to Baby Jesus, the prayer we are reciting in the preparation for Christmas; we ask Him to help us in being: “Good, upright, generous and authentic Christians”, because we want to be holy (1Pt 1:16). Not just in words but with our example. With the example of a straight life in our everyday life.
This is the teaching of this Church. This is what is needed so to be ready to live the Christmas of Christ. Not an “event”, a feast on the calendar, a past memory; but something that is alive: Christ who comes to be born in the heart of each of us!
All you who have found the true Love in this Cradle of Love; all you who Here are reborn to new life: persevere in holiness; persevere, so to receive the abundance of the Father (Lk 21:19); persevere with love and faithfulness (Psalm 117:2), keeping your heart faithful to the words of love that the Eternal Maiden has dispensed to your heart.
Give true testimony of your belief in this Church, of your belief in Christ the Lord, of your belief because Here you have received life (Mt 17:20). By your testimony, many words will be taken away, leaving room for the all the fruits of love that Here, in this Land, are born and ever more will be born. As always, it’s the example that makes the difference (Jn 13:15). Not the words.
Giuseppe and Francesca, live your love. Giuseppe and Francesca, live your love towards God, He who leans down upon you and blows, with the fire of His Spirit, so that, starting from today, your love may be even more alive, and you will be no longer two, but only one flesh (Mt 19:5-6; Mk 10:7-8), a family, a domestic church, which is part of the Universal Church, which wants to bring to the centre of this world, the universal message of Christ, who is born, who has come to make us reborn to new life, to make us reborn in the Spirit (Jn 3:5), and to make us taste, from now on, His “Kingdom” and His “Justice”, as proclaimed by the evangelist (Mt 6:33).
Blessed are you, who, after having found your everything in this Cradle, now want to promise each other love and fidelity for the rest of your lives. Be faithful to this promise. Be faithful to Jesus. Be faithful to His teachings. Do not worry and do not be troubled with all that is world. Everything will be lived in equilibrium. Seek the Kingdom of God and His Justice, as Jesus asks us. And all these things will be given to you in addition.
The Father never abandons His sons (Jn 10:11-12). In the moment in which the Spirit is alive, all that is material will not be missed (Mt 6:26-32). This is a promise of Jesus. And Jesus is faithful to His promises. I tell this to you, Giuseppe and Francesca; and to all of you, dear faithful, brothers in Christ. And just as Jesus is faithful to His promises (1Cor 1:9), we too must do the same. We must remain faithful to ours promises, so not to fail, neither as men nor as Christians.
If we will remain faithful to Jesus, we will lack nothing (Jn 8:31).
Here is our joy. Rejoice and exult, Giuseppe and Francesca. Today, the words heard are fulfilled. Here in this Land of Love, the Father calls us to live, right from now, His Kingdom and His Justice.
Blessed are you who have listened and will put these teachings into practice. Do not allow these words to enter one ear and go out the other, as it’s said. This is the live Mercy of a God who opens the doors of His Heart to give you His love (Eph 2:4). Nourish yourselves with this Love, the Love of a God who comes to meet you (1Jn 4:16), who has called you, to celebrate these two brothers and thus give you the opportunity to step foot and heart in this Land of Love. Ask the Father His Mercy and the Father will give It to you. Ask the Father His live Love and the Father, in this Land, will give It to you (Eph 3:14-19).
Let’s live this moment. Live this day, for the sake of Giuseppe and Francesca, who have called you to co-participate and share their most important moment of love. They’ve called you, relatives and friends, to share what is the most important Treasure for them (Lk 12:34). Do it for love, for the love of a God who leans down today on us all and for the love of these our brothers, who in God want to promise each other eternal love.
Prayer and fraternal union, and everything will be fulfilled. And joy will be full and total. The same for Giuseppe and for Francesca. The same for all of us who want to remain faithful (Josh 22:5) to the promises, to our Jesus, to our Friend and Brother Jesus (Jn 15:15). And so be it.