Homily of Father Ulysses Navarro ssp

18 settembre 2016

We live in a time where information has become very accessible. What were once confined within the walls of a library have now been opened and freed by internet technology. What was once an expensive international phone call can now be done for just a few coins. Digital publications have made it possible for me to carry a hundreds books, saved in this small device. Now more than ever, people are constantly accessing information — whenever and wherever they need them. If Alberione were alive today, he would be certainly thrilled to see how information travels a million times faster than the fastest Frecciarossa train.

But while technology makes all these possible, it seems that in today’s world, it is becoming more difficult to speak the truth. Or to say it in another way, it is becoming more dangerous to proclaim the truth. Let us take Facebook as an example. To be honest, sometimes we are afraid to voice out our belief on a particular issue because we are concerned that it will offend our friends. Or sometimes, we think that communicating what we believe is true will bring us unnecessary troubles. Many times, we just decide not to comment on other people’s posts, or to retreat from a debate… all because we fear the retribution or that we might be attacked in an ugly way. This, unfortunately, has stifled even our eagerness to the share the Gospel message.

The Gospel for today, however, reminds us of our Lord’s own words. No one lights a lamp and hides it under the bed. Aside from wasting precious oil, it is also dangerous. Only a fool would cover the lamp or hide it under a bed.

All of us have been blessed with the light of faith. This is the precious gift we received in baptism. And through our consecration to the religious life, we made it even clearer to the world that we will let this light shine even brighter. That we, for the rest of our lives, will be the bearers of God’s light. But sometimes, we make the mistake of keeping that light for ourself. Sometimes, we are afraid and so we hide it from the world. These are the times when we remain silent while evil flourishes around us. These are the times when we imprison ourselves in the comfort of our religious houses. Or when we do not speak against the social evils that plague the countries where we are present. These are also the times when we hold grudges against those who hurt us, without any actual plan of being reconciled to one another. When we keep our lamps only for ouselves, imagine how dark our communities will become…

In his address to the Daughters of St Paul in 1932, Primo Maestro said:

Quando la lampada ha una luce molto potente, manda forti sprazzi, così se voi avete molta divozione al divin Maestro, alla Regina degli Apostoli, a S. Paolo, farete un gran bene. Nello spirito avete i mezzi più potenti per farvi dei meriti, nell’apostolato avete pure il mezzo più potente per far del bene. Siete come quelle donne che aiutarono S. Paolo nell’apostolato. Il Signore vi ha preparato un mistero di grazia, voi prendete la parola di Dio e la spandete dappertutto. Contro il bene vi sono mille difficoltà, ne incontrava anche Gesù, ma intanto il bene si fa. Quel Vangelo venuto dal cielo, quello che contiene la dottrina del divin Maestro di cui il Padre celeste disse: «Ascoltatelo», lo diffondete voi (FSP 1929-33, p. 436).

Your theme for this Interchapter proclaims it clearly: Crediamo e perciò comunichiamo la gioia del Vangelo e la bellezza del carisma. The world needs persons with deep convictions that what is true must rise above the darkness and falsehood that we see everywhere. The Church needs courageous women like you who have been called to be the communicators of the Gospel. Our family counts on you to continue the legacy of our Founder who said that you have been called for greatness.

Ulysses Navarro, ssp