OMELIE / Omelie EN

23/10/2016 - 30th Sunday of O.T: - C

23/10/2016 - 30th Sunday of O.T: - C 

1st reading Sir 35,12-14.16-18 * from Psalm 33 * 2nd reading 2Tm 4,6-8.16-18 * Gospel Lk 18,9-14

We are still adventuring into the year of Mercy, and today the Book of Sirach assures us, of the need that God gives to assure those who are in need, to the poor, to those who suffer, to the oppressed. Certainly, this is said not only to console those who suffer because of injustices, but also to get the attention of those, consciously or unconsciously, are oppressors of their brothers. Infact, if the orphan and the widow “find their voice in their lament”, this is because there is someone who profits from their fragility. Those who oppress and those who abuse will fall in the hands of God, who listens to the prayers and supplications which are directed to Him. God will be lenient and will be merciful to them, but with a mercy that will be work in a particular way: he will put them in a condition that they themselves will be in need of him, that they will be reduced to sufferings and humility, otherwise they will not be able to ask and obtain the divine benevolence

With a single word Jesus paints a picture of those who turn to God to pray to him. The figure of the two men who went up to the temple for this aim, oblige us to look at one and the other. Why does Jesus recount this parable? The evangelist tells us: there are two persons that when they pray they are not in front of God but they behave as if they are in front of the mirror. And in this way they elude themselves, thinking that they have been heard by God, and they feel that they have the power and the duty to criticize and to put down the other sons and daughters of the Father. Jesus discovers this lie: in it the devil tries to drag us in it Infact hearing this teaching, something comes to ask us: from where one is able to recognize the true prayer, that which is accepted by the Father? If the one who observes the law with exactness and scrupulosity prays in a way that makes God unhappy, what do I have to make myself in order to be able to observe all the rules to live Christianity? The answer is simple: God looks at the heart. The other man who went up to pray, prays with true humility, aware of h is own incapacity. It seems strange that God should listen to him, because he knows that he is a sinner. But he prays the same, recognizing himself that he is disobedient and he asks God to operate for him his mercy. “Have mercy on me a sinner”, he keeps his eyes down, without looking upwards and without looking at the other who is in front of him, and he raises his voice thanking as if God should recompensate him for that little that he has done. The sinner does not see what the other is doing, because it is enough for him to see what he is doing and what he has done. What shall God think of him? Definitely he sees him as a sinner, and more than this because he is able to recognize this. But what does God think of him tells us Jesus himself. God enjoys of his humility, according to the word: “The prayer of the poor crosses the does not stop until it has reached the Holy One and he intervenes”. And also “The Lord crowns the humble with victory”. And mercy arrives to touch him and envelopes him. But whoever exalts and believes that he is praying well is satisfying himself, he will not receive approval, rather, he must pass through the humiliations where he will live the conditions of humility and asks for help with humility.

Besides these readings we have also the page from the letter of Saint Paul, who confides to us his sufferings. When he was supposed to present himself to the tribunal, accused because of Jesus, he saw himself abandoned by everyone, like the Lord in the Garden of Olives. His sadness is huge, but does not strike him down. He felt himself bear to the Lord, infact in the tribunal he was able to pronounce the gospel, and thus he was not only consoled by God, but he was also the means of mercy, the true mercy, that which comes from the Word of God which does not make us feel humiliated. The Lord is his only means of support, now that the moment of departure from this life has arrived. It is an hour of great humility, which does not permit him to judge no one of those whom abandoned him. And this humility renders him great in the eyes of God. So in order for us to be able to pray we must make ourselves small and little. This littleness will be present even when we are in front of men. Mercy, which we will keep in our hearts, makes us one with the Father, and will impede us to become oppressors of our brothers.

Our prayer must come always from humility, from the awareness of being sinner, but also from finding ourselves in front of God who is Father and who enjoys our conversion. When we pray in fact we are changing ourselves, converting ourselves; we are turning our attentions to the Lord, putting our attention from our egoistic desires. In this way change happens in our life: from carnal we become spiritual, from earthly we become celestial. When we pray we are permitting the mercy of God to arrive to us, transform us. Transformed, we will be merciful towards all.