OMELIE / Omelie EN

28 lug 2019
28/07/2019 – 17th Sunday Year C

28/07/2019 – 17th Sunday Year C

Reading 1, GN 18,20-21.23-32 * Psalm 137 * Reading 2, COL 2,12-14 * Gospel LK 11,1-13


Today’s readings introduce Abraham’s prayer and Jesus’. Abraham welcomes three angels, and, while talking with them, he talks with God. Getting to know the fate awaiting Sodom and Gomorrah he tries to intercede, to beg. He thinks he can be more merciful than God: he is proposing to do what God Himself desires in an even more complete way! He is asking Him to spare the cities, because in them maybe can be found fifty or forty or thirty good people. Abraham does not dare to ask to spare the cities if in them there are less than ten of those. And he does not even have the courage and the imagination to ask for mercy for other reasons. We know instead what God did. Because He could not find anyone, He Himself has sent in the world the only Just, and for the love of Him He has given everybody the possibility to be saved. This possibility becomes real in the Baptism, Saint Paul says to us. In the Baptism we begin a new life, different, saint, a life that is acceptable to God and that gives peace and harmony to men. So, not only we are saved, but we are participating in everybody's salvation, we help with changing the world, that really needs to be changed.

The way to change the world? Our conversion, essential condition to live the baptism! What can we do to convert? Pray. Even better, learn how to pray. Abraham is praying as one of the best men, but his is a prayer too poor, because he wants to change God's plans, like there were better ones. We need to learn how to pray from Jesus. He, the only Just, thanks to whom the world is saved, can teach us the true prayer, the one that can convert us.

When we pray, often, like Abraham, we think we need to convert God, to convince Him to do what we think is useful or necessary.

Is Jesus’ prayer like this as well? His disciples, seeing Him praying, understood that they are not able to pray yet, and they ask Him to teach them! Maybe we too have the need for this? Jesus replies to their question proposing to “say” the Our Father. Certainly Jesus does not advise us to recite a “formula” in order to get with it something from God. He is proposing us a prayer able to change our heart, to get it close to the Father’s and to make it similar to His, the heart of a son.

The first part of His prayer brings us to lovingly look at the Father, to call on Him with this name, reminding us the fact that He loves us, He gave us His life and therefore He feels responsible for us. There is no use and no need to teach Him anything! He already loves us, Jesus said, and He knows what we need.

Reading the prophet Ezekiel we discover that God wants to sanctify His name among the peoples, so getting known by everyone, even by the pagans, as the only God, the only one who loves everyone seriously and faithfully. He sanctifies His own name by gathering His people, by purifying it and giving His children a new heart. We then, asking Him to sanctify His own name, we are opening ourselves up to the possibility to let ourselves to be gathered in His Church, letting ourselves to be purified from all the different idolatries, the useless and passing things, and welcoming a new heart inside us! We then offer to cooperate with His kingdom, with the generous obedience of the children! This first part separates our attention from our desires and from our made up necessities in order to follow new desires, shaped on the plans of God the Father, freeing ourselves from our selfishness!

The second part of the prayer makes us progress towards conversion. Nobody asks anything for themselves, but everything is for “us”. With that “us” we mean the disciples, so the Church. We ask for the bread the Church needs to be united and to be able to faithfully realise its mission in the world. What kind of bread is this? It cannot be anything else but the Eucharist, the bread that unites us and fortifies us internally. Even more, this bread is the Holy Spirit we receive taking part in the Eucharist, the Spirit that makes us brethren, able to become aware of the material and spiritual needs of others, of the brothers in faith and of those who still do not pray using this prayer! Also the forgiveness we ask for later, we are not asking for it only for ourselves, but for all the brethren, because every brother's sin weights on everyone, like in a family. The Church is a family, a family that forgives: it has learnt to forgive since the very beginning. Stephen has forgiven Saul, and since then the Church forgives its enemies: we can joyfully say it to the Father, so He feels compelled to shower us with His mercy. The devil's temptation follows our brethren too and tries to divide the Church. Let us ask God for the strength all of us need to resist, to stay together and stand tall in the faith!

By praying with these words given us by Jesus we can progress in our conversion, in our journey towards the Father, in the raising of His Kingdom! The city of Sodom, that is this world of ours, can be spared then from destruction, because in it there is us, the Church, that keeps firm in its midst the presence of Jesus, the Son, the Just: for the love of Him the world will be saved!