Tuesday 21 July 2020

Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Word for today
The Gospel of Matthew 12,46-50


Jesus is incarnated completely in our lives and in our history. Jesus knows everything perfectly and loves everything about us and our beings in a complete and marvelous way and. But there is one thing about us that he does not share with us, and he pointed it out more than once. He does not share the way we conceive, live, and manage our family ties because they are founded on energies that are not love. In this respect Jesus inspires us to make changes in response to a divine vision to create effective, liberating family ties which help life. He does not despise blood ties, but in His divine vision and perception He has revealed something that humanity has still not understood. For Jesus, the real, powerful bond that has meaning and gives direction even beyond our earthly life is the bond of the spirit, sharing love and light, which is the very essence of what energy of the Spirit is. According to Jesus, there is no tie on earth that is more beautiful, natural, strong, liberating and effective than sharing the desire of light born from the seed and the spirit of His Word and what it represents. Obviously, for Word of Jesus we are not just referring to the Gospel but to everything that the Word has always represented in man’s heart: love for truth, the choice of loving, divine wisdom even before and beyond the direct historic knowledge of Jesus.
Blood ties are useless and can even reveal themselves to be dangerous and binding if they are not founded on interior choices in accordance with God’s will and purified by the practice of love. That which is defined as love for someone because he/she is one’s earthly father or mother is not love precisely because there is a blood tie. That which is defined as love for someone because he/she is one’s son or daughter is not love precisely because there is a blood tie. These ties  are more often connected to possession than seated in God’s love. Human bonds are fragile, conventional ties linked to obligations, responsibilities, fears, and do not necessarily reflect deep intimate desires of the soul and the heart.
Loving and adoring one’s earthly father while hating one’s neighbor is not love. Dedicating oneself entirely to one’s own child while being vindictive or unkind to a colleague is not love. That does not mean that to really love the people we live with we need to perfectly love those outside of our homes. But what goes on within our homes is a pathetic impulse, sterile dedication, perverse transmission of lonely selfishness if there is no real sharing in God’s love.
What kind of love is worshipping one’s earthly father without being overwhelmed by the wisdom of God’s love? What kind of love is giving up one’s divine calling and personal realization in order to meet paternal/maternal expectations without embracing and falling in love with our Heavenly Father’s expectations? Why do love relations and family ties, anniversaries, celebrations, convivial gatherings drown miserably in the sea of bloody, poisonous, hatred when there is an inheritance to divide? Why does so much love,  dedication, and sacrifice vanish in a second and turns into rage and hate towards a child when he or she begins to live his/her own life,  to make his/her decisions, or to make choices not approved of by family traditions. What kind of love defends one’s own father, mother, brother in danger, from hunger, misery, or ignorance while showing no concern for the hunger, misery, and ignorance of millions of other people? Love either goes through/beyond the walls of homes and of family ties or it does not belong to love. Slave owners beat and mistreat  other people’s children during the daytime and then show loving attention to their own children in the warmth of their own homes. Using a shocking although real image, Hitler caressed and protected his own family members while ordering that millions of other human beings be abused and killed. What kind of love is that? This is an example taken to the extreme but in a less violent way this process takes place every day millions of times. What kind of love is this? Using an even more shocking image, Satan himself says that he loves his children and followers more than God the Father does. What kind of love is that? What is so special, so precious, so divine about your father, your mother, your son, your daughter, your brother or your sister more than any other human being? In effect there is something special and it is use of the possessive adjective describing the tie: my, your. But we are God’s and only God’s, and we are all his children. Even if it is done unconsciously and without any malice, constructing bonds on my and yours is possession, delirium of omnipotence. Blood and family ties cannot be the mechanisms that automatically create the partiality of love and the sharing of the heart in the spirit. This is not the love to which God wants to direct us and to inspire us. The love to which He is inspiring us is a superior love that does not cancel but rather illuminates in a new and luminous way the ties of blood, of family, and of sentimental relations. The true bond, the true relation is created in the soul not in the veins. If someone is blinded with prejudice and lacks even a minimum of intellectual honesty Jesus’ indication can appear to be a condemnation of the family, a negation of interpersonal relations and of family responsibilities between persons bound by blood ties. Jesus is, instead, indicating and inspiring people towards a new and superior form of relational bond based on intimate and active sharing in his Word and in the truth of his procedures beyond and independently of every confession and religious membership. In truth Jesus affirms that a loving relationship between persons is impossible if they do not share the power and the light of the truth that he represents. Jesus said that a father who believes he loves his son and thinks he has a good relationship with him but nonetheless oppresses his fellow human beings cannot in any way love even his son nor can he have any kind of effective relationship with him. Jesus affirms that love for a father and a mother which is developed within the closed walls of a house in total disinterest for others without sharing the spirit of the Gospel is not love but a boring, oppressive, miserable, unhappy form of possession. Jesus does not inspire us to renounce our family ties but to make them more beautiful, luminous, real and above all interesting in accordance with the real procedures of the Gospel and not according to squalid, hypocritical human habits and conventions.
Mary, Jesus’ mother, woman-mother, is the first mother to experience the harshness on the one hand and the absolutely liberating splendor of this divine vision of relations and bonds. Mary is the mother of Jesus but she cannot boast any privilege, predilection of friendship, right of priority if not in the measure in which she shares Jesus, the splendor of His word and the intimacy of His love, and the very work of salvation  in Her soul. This is a magnificent liberating truth. Intimacy of the heart and sharing within the soul and in actions according to the spirit of the Gospel is the bond that even Mary needed to choose with Jesus, beloved Son of God, our divine brother. In truth He reveals that the true, royal bond that we can create between us, the children of God on earth, is a bond in the Holy Paraclete.