OMELIE / Omelie EN

30 gen 2022
30/01/2022 – 4th Sunday in O. T. - year C

30/01/2022 – 4th Sunday in O. T. - year C

Reading 1 JER 1,4-5.17-19 Psalm 70 Reading 2 1 COR 12,31 - 13,13 Gospel LK 4,21-30

Today our attention is certainly captured by Saint Paul’s words. He wants to show us the best way to follow Jesus, who is guiding us to meet the Father. It is the way of love, but a special kind of love, He calls charity. It is a kind of love which benefits men, but comes from God and stays addressed to Him. Charity, as the word says in its original meaning, is love we have received and we continue to receive; but it is not one of our birth qualities, it is not coming from our efforts or our abilities. In front of charity, all things on earth, beautiful and desirable, lose their colour and their weight. Knowing the languages of many different people, the ability to predict or know the future, even faith which can obtain miracles from the divine omnipotence, and even the strength of will to jump in a fire for others, are all possibilities without real importance, with poor value, and they cannot rival charity. This gift coming from heaven overcomes the boundaries of time: it remains in eternity, it shines upon us and in us even when we are weak or our life circumstances are simple and completely normal.

The “charity” makes us patient and benevolent, makes us meek and attentive to small things, to our brothers' and sisters' sufferings and joys, makes us desire the best for everyone, good and evil, just like the Father’s heart does. Charity derives strength of perseverance from faith and it is rewarded by hope. In return, it makes our faith and hope in the final prize visible. Charity does not start in us by listening to men’s desires, but by listening to God’s heartbeat. Therefore charity always says yes to God, and makes us able also to say no to men’s requests. It loves God with all its heart and loves others like themselves: it makes us ready to say no to ourselves about something. In order to love others truly, we must be careful that what they want is not against the will shown by God in His commandments. The true love for the neighbor cannot ask me to disobey God.

Jesus Himself has found Himself having to choose, in Nazareth, the very town in which He was known and loved. Right there miracles were asked of Him, not as signs to reveal His identity of Son of God and Messiah, but as good deeds to take the burden of suffering off somebody’s life. This was not what the Father was asking Him though. The Father had sent Him to preach His kingdom, to ask us to love Him and abandon the way of selfishness. He Himself had to go down the cross’ path in order to guide us to the way of true love and true life. Therefore, we cannot ask Jesus to take away from us the cross at all costs. Furthermore, He has come for everyone, not only for His people: Elijah has crossed the border of Israel and Elisha has healed a foreigner, so He too, like the prophets, has to keep His heart open to the whole world, to those who are stuck in the beliefs of other religions, because His life is God’s gift which is necessary to reveal His paternity to everyone. The love of those who knew Jesus in Nazareth had become meanness and hatred: it has been revealed as fake love, a disguise of selfishness, true and pure jealousy.

Charity does not take these risks. We want to know Jesus not as the person who is taking away our sufferings, but as the person who merges them with His, redeeming in this way also the sin which is the source of them. His sufferings, carried by Him with love, with true charity, are guiding us on the way which gives value to all circumstances. From Jesus we not only welcome consolation, but also the request to help Him carry the cross, like the Cyrenee, so the world, read all men in the world, by seeing Him and loving Him may be saved.

The prophet Jeremiah, with his life, has prophesied Jesus' love, a love free from itself and also free from the men’s needs. God took the care to tell him: “They will fight against you but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you”. Jesus in Nazareth has lived this prophecy, as many Christians are living it in many places close or far away. Those who love sometimes are not loved by men: just like Jesus. But the believers who love, even if they are contradicted, will not let themselves become scared, because the presence of the Lord Himself is guaranteed by their side. He is an ally who frightens all enemies.

So, we will live with joy and exultation in charity!